Determined whether the State of Washington can terminate state-funded food assistance to lawfully present immigrants who are ineligible for federally-funded food assistance due to their immigrant status.
- Violence Against Women and Girls
- Workplace Equality and Economic Empowerment
- Public Benefits and Poverty
Legal Momentun's Role:
- Authored Amicus Brief
Summary of the Case
Plaintiff, a lawfully present qualified immigrant who was abused by her spouse, is challenging a decision by the State of Washington to terminate state-funded food assistance to lawfully present immigrants who are ineligible for federally-funded food assistance due to their immigrant status. The district court certified the case as a class action and entered an order granting a preliminary injunction. The court held that plaintiff was likely to prevail on both her equal protection challenge to the State’s decision to terminate the benefits, and on her due process challenge to the procedure by which the State proposed to implement the termination.
Our Role in the Case
Legal Momentum, represented by Kaye Scholer LLP, filed an amicus curiae brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of plaintiff's opposition to the State’s appeal. The brief explains how the termination of food assistance would dramatically increase the barriers immigrant victims must overcome to escape from abusive relationships. Without the food assistance benefits, these victims might have to return to or stay with an abuser.
Washington State has asked the Ninth Circuit to reverse the district court’s decision and allow the State to proceed with the benefit termination. The court agreed with the State that plaintiff lacked the concrete and particularized interest required for standing to claim a procedural due process violation. The court "reversed the district court's order granting the motion for a preliminary injunction, vacated the injunction, and remanded for further proceedings." (1)
1. Opinion, Pimentel v. Dreyfus, et al., No. 11-35237 (9th Cir. 2012)