Families Sue to Resume Diversity Visa Lottery Blocked by Trump-Era Policy

Attorneys representing over 1,000 families filed a motion today to overturn a court stay that has halted processing for the Diversity Visa Lottery program. The lawsuit challenges a policy implemented by the Trump administration which the Biden administration has yet to reverse.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Mohammed v Blinken, Fonjong v Biden, and Kennedy v Biden, argues that since the initial court stay in April 2022, circumstances have significantly changed. Attorneys claim many visa lottery winners have been forced to abandon legal immigration channels and seek asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border due to the ongoing program suspension. The legal representatives of the Gomez class chose not to participate in this motion.

In the present motion, the Plaintiffs, represented by counsel Rafael Urena and Curtis Lee Morrison, highlight to the Court that numerous winners of the Diversity Visa Lottery have forsaken the lawfully withheld route to immigration to the United States, opting instead to seek asylum at the southwest border. Additionally, they emphasize that these individuals, who originally had a humane and legal means to escape persecution, are now compelled to pursue asylum in the US through irregular migration.

The lawsuit comes after a federal judge sided with the Biden administration in April 2022, granting a stay on a lower court ruling that ordered the program’s resumption. The appeals court has yet to issue a final decision on the matter.

The Diversity Visa Lottery is a program designed to create a more diverse immigrant population in the United States. Thousands of applicants from countries with historically low immigration rates are chosen at random each year.

The Biden administration has 14 days to respond to the motion.