Judge Dismissed a Lawsuit Against 2012 DV Lottery Result Cancellation

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Thursday by a group of would-be immigrants who were told they had won a chance to apply for a U.S. visa, saying the State Department was right to void the results of its annual visa lottery because a computer error had occurred.
Those in the group had been seeking class-action status, which would mean their cases could be combined into one, in their bid to stop the government from nullifying their selections in the visa lottery.
One of them, 42-year-old French native Armande Gil, who lives in Florida, called the decision by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson another disappointment.
“It makes the injustice even bigger, and it’s just a sense that there is nobody who hears us and whatever the government wants to do with us they can do and there is nothing we can do about it,” said Gil, who had hoped to preserve her long-shot chance to get a U.S. visa without the traditional family or employer sponsorship.court
About 22,000 people were notified in early May that they had won a chance to apply for a visa as part of the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, which is aimed at increasing the number of immigrants from the developing world and countries with historically low rates of emigration to the United States.
From the nearly 15 million applications submitted between Oct. 5 and Nov. 3, 2010, about 90,000 names were supposed to have been selected at random by a computer program. That number was to have been reduced to no more than 55,000 through attrition, interviews and various eligibility rules.
A glitch in the system meant that nearly 90 percent of winners were people who had applied within the first two days of the application period.
Several of the original winners filed suit in federal court in Washington last month, weeks after the results were nullified. A new lottery is scheduled for Friday and everyone who applied last year is eligible.
Kenneth White, a California-based lawyer representing Gil and others in the case, did not immediately respond to an email request for comment. A State Department representative did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment.
In response to the judge’s action, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the results of the new selection process would be available Friday on the lottery website.
During a court hearing in Washington this week, Justice Department lawyer Hans Harris Chen argued that the original lottery results could not stand because they did not comply with the federal law that established the program in 1994, which required people be selected at random.
Jackson agreed and refused to block the new lottery.
“The court cannot order the Department of State to honor a botched process that did not satisfy the regulatory and statutory requirements,” Jackson wrote.

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Source:AP

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3 Comments

  1. I am writing from Cameroon. May 1st 2011 still lingers in my memory with that relieving message that I saw appear on my pc screen after logging into the dvlottery entry status check website. It read; ‘Dear Emmanuel Mejame Etape, You are among those randomly selected…………., and this how I rejoiced with my family that finally God has one it our family. I have been applying in this programm since 1998 and I have not been lucky untill this year that I was selected an later on notified that the results were voided. I did not have the courage to break the news to my wife who expecting a baby at that time. She head it his time and she is now in shock. My elder sister whom I told the news just this morning fell and was vomitting.Right now she is lying in a hospital I can say critical. I did not take it serious all this while but what happened this morning is what cannot pass without a comment. Yes, it is said it was a mechine error, humans saw the error and continued in the error by publishing the results, why should we be thus those to suffer the consequences? The letter sent to me showed that I was randomly selected, what do anyone have to tell me now that will make me believe it was a random selection. I think if anyone has to bear the consequence then it should be those who published the results and not us the innocent applicants who waited patiently for several months only for a mechine error to be reported later. I pray something should be done to save these family. Rather reconducted an entirely new random selection, they could have just added another 33000 others to the first 22000 knowing it was their error posting the results. I

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