Aliessa and 11 other aliens (plaintiffs) legally immigrated to the United States. Some are permanent residents and others are permanently residing in the United States under color of law (PRUCOLs). All of the plaintiffs suffer from serious illnesses. They all would have been eligible for state Medicaid benefits before New York enacted Social Services Law § 122. New York enacted the law after Congress enacted the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. The state law terminated Medicaid benefits for PRUCOLs not suffering from AIDS or living in certain health care facilities. In addition, aliens entering the United States after August 22, 1996 were forced to wait five years before being eligible for coverage. The plaintiffs sued in state court, alleging that they were being unlawfully denied access to state Medicaid. The Court of Appeals of New York reviewed the case on appeal.