Since the passage of federal welfare reform, many legal immigrants and refugees in Oregon are now ineligible for food stamps. Several states have chosen to exercise options available to states to increase food stamps for these families. Oregon has not.
Download a copy of the full report: Restoring Food Stamp Benefits to Immigrants and Refugees in Oregon (PDF)
This paper discusses two options available to Oregon.
- First, the State can change its administrative rules to increase the federal food stamp benefits received by those eligible immigrants in families that also include immigrants who are not eligible. The change would have no fiscal impact on the state.
- Second, Oregon can fully restore benefits to immigrant and refugee families by using state funds to cover the costs of the restoration, just as nine states have already done. The paper recommends that Oregon first make the administrative rule change and then allocate $5.3 million for the 2001-03 biennium to restore fully benefits to immigrants.
Senate Bill 797 has been introduced to accomplish the administrative rule change, although the Department of Human Services has the authority and capability to make the change without legislative action. The bill should be amended to fully restore food stamp benefits to immigrants and refugees in Oregon.