- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 23, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The Maine supreme court says the state should provide food stamps to unemployed asylum seekers who’ve obtained proper work documentation.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Tuesday in the case of a man from Burundi who’s seeking asylum in the United States. Euphrem Manirakiza (YOU-frem man-a-rah-KEE-zah) arrived with his family in 2014 and applied for food stamps after receiving work papers.

The state denied his request in 2015. Officials said the program had ended because of a temporary limit on such assistance in the 2014-2015 budget.

The court’s ruling said it’d be illogical for a temporary budget limit to restrict such assistance forever. Manirakiza’s lawyer Amy Olfene said the ruling could impact up to 150 asylum seekers.


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