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Clinton, Speaking to Latinos, Urges Nation to Come Together

July 28, 1996|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Saddened by the explosion at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, President Clinton told Latino supporters on Saturday that the nation must stand united against "the enemies of democracy."

"These things that tend to divide people weaken our country when what we ought to be doing is pulling our country together," he said.

Speaking from the Oval Office on a telephone hookup to about 1,000 Latino supporters scattered at 50 locations throughout the country, the president cited attempts to include in welfare legislation a ban on educating the children of illegal immigrants as an example of things that tear at the idea of unity.

In contrast, Clinton pointed to the administration's efforts to "give people the tools they need" to succeed, such as an anti-crime program and lower taxes for working families.

"We should be more concerned with how we can hook up every classroom in America to the Internet by the year 2000 than whether we should be kicking a few kids out of our classrooms who would be much better in school than on the street."

The president called on Americans to "build a deeper sense of community that unites us."

Clinton also offered his condolences to the Latino community on the death of Hector Garcia, who died Friday in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Garcia was a physician who led the fight for equal treatment of Latinos and founded the American G.I. Forum in 1948.

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