Unaccompanied and Excluded from Food Security: A Call for the Inclusion of Immigrant Youth Twenty Years after Welfare Reform

46 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2017  

Claire R. Thomas

New York Law School

Ernie Collette

MFY Legal Services, Inc.

Date Written: September 20, 2017

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to advocate for immediate access to SNAP (Food Stamps) benefits for immigrant kids applying for and granted Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) in both New York State and at the federal level through the historical background of exclusionary immigration policies, an examination of PRWORA, and the application of a case study. First, this paper will briefly discuss the historical background of U.S. immigration policy as exclusionary of certain groups of immigrants, particularly those thought to become a public charge, and the correlation between anti-immigrant sentiment and the passage of laws restricting access to public benefits. Next, this paper will examine the SNAP sections of the PRWORA in great depth, after almost twenty years since its passage and enactment, through the review of pre-PRWORA immigrant eligibility rules and the expansion of post-PRWORA categories since 1996.

Keywords: immigration, public benefits, immigrant access to public benefits, unaccompanied kids, special immigrant juvenile status

Suggested Citation

Thomas, Claire R. and Collette, Ernie, Unaccompanied and Excluded from Food Security: A Call for the Inclusion of Immigrant Youth Twenty Years after Welfare Reform (September 20, 2017). Georgetown Immigration Law Review, Vol. 31, No. 197, 2017; NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3040215. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3040215

Claire R. Thomas (Contact Author)

New York Law School ( email )

185 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
United States

Ernie Collette

MFY Legal Services, Inc.

299 Broadway, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10007
United States

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