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Legal Dictionary
Zambrano is the short name for a 1993 class-action case called Zambrano v. INS. In this case, plaintiffs were undocumented people who had applied or tried to apply for amnesty (legalization) under the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). But their requests were denied or turned away as inadmissible based on the likelihood that they would become public charges (receive government need-based benefits). The plaintiffs challenged the government regulations at the Supreme Court. After a number of twists and turns, the whole tangle was ultimately straightened out in the immigrants' favor through passage of the LIFE Act.