AUGUSTA (AP) — Maine’s high court is weighing whether asylum-seeking immigrants who have been cleared to work but haven’t found a job yet are entitled to food stamps.

A Portland family argues that they should qualify for assistance under state law, but the state’s attorney says their eligibility was effectively ended in the budget for 2014 and 2015.

The budget provided funding for food stamps but said certain noncitizens would become ineligible if the money ran out.

The state’s attorney argues that effectively terminated the program for those beneficiaries, but the plaintiffs say it wasn’t intended to make them permanently ineligible.

The plaintiffs also argue that the state cannot deny benefits to eligible recipients even if funding runs out.

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