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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release May 22, 2001

PRESS BRIEFING
BY
ARI FLEISCHER

The James S. Brady Briefing Room

1:52 P.M. EDT

......................................

Q Two questions. One, if the President will sign the bill yesterday the House passed on immigration extension, and also the Dalai Lama is going to meet with him tomorrow. Last year, what he told me in the U.N. -- he's telling me the same thing today, that he seeks from the United States and from this new President to tell China -- press China that he wants justice for his people in Tibet.

Now, what is the position of this new administration as far as Tibet is concerned and his visit tomorrow?

MR. FLEISCHER: On your first question about an immigration provision, the question dealt with the action the House took last night on the suspension calendar that passed a four-month extension for immigrants who are in this country so they can reapply to stay in this country without being forced to leave, because they can legally stay here since they have relatives in the country.

The President supports an extension to help immigrants stay in this country. He believes a longer period should be in order. But he's pleased that action is being taken to help immigrants to be able to remain in this country without being split up from their families.

On the question of the Dalai Lama's visit, the Dalai Lama will be here tomorrow to visit with the President. The President considers the Dalai Lama an important spiritual and religious leader and looks forward to the visit.

......................................

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