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3 N.J.A.R. 330

Passaic County Board of Social Services; E., I. v
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Citation: 3 N.J.A.R. 330
Decision Date: 1981
Synopsis: Petitioner contests the decision by the Passaic County Board of Social Services denying her request for assistance under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program (AFDC) based upon the Board's determination that she is not a lawful resident of the United States. The administrative law judge found that petitioner and her two children'arrived in the United States with tourist visas in December of 1980. In January of 1981, petitioner filed an application for asylum with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and she and her two children we}e accepted as applicants for asylum. At the same time, petitioner was granted employment authorization and was issued a Social Security card. Noting that N.J.A.C. 10:81-3.9(c) requires that an individual must either be a citizen of the U.S. or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence or permanently residing in the U.S. under color of law to qualify for AFDC payments, the administrative law judge rejected the Board's contention that the petitioner was merely visiting and thus not residing in the U.S. under color of law. The judge determined that the federal definition of 'permanently residing' which includes instances where an alien is allowed to remain in the U.S. not necessarily forever, but only so long as he meets certain requirements should control since the AFDC program was federally funded. Accordingly, since the INS had accepted petitioner's application for asylum, had issued a permit to work and had not taken any action on the application for asylum, the judge concluded that the petitioner and her children were aliens permanently residing in the U.S. under color of law and thus eligible for AFDC benefits. Madeline L. FIouston, Esq., for Petitioner (Passaic County Legal Aid Society, Attorney) State of New Jersey 331 Charles C. Festa, Jr., Assistant Counsel, Passaic County Board of Social Services, for Respondent