The Coalition partnered with the Shriver Center on a class action lawsuit to reinstate eligibility for food stamps and income supports that were eliminated under the PRWOA for noncitizens.
The Coalition’s client, Sarra Shvartsman, a 71-year-old Russian refugee, was the named plaintiff. In a suit directed against the commissioner of the Social Security Administration and the secretary of the Department of Agriculture, plaintiffs argued that slowness of the Immigration and Naturalization Service transition process implementing the citizenship requirement for Food Stamps violated their due process rights. The district court disagreed, ruling against them in 1997, and its judgment was upheld by the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on March 16, 1998. However, the case is considered important in establishing the parameters of what courts will accept as “transitional due process.”