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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.


Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, Vol. 31, Issue 2 (Winter 2017), pp. 197-242