‘Irish Eight’ challenge in visa lottery dismissed by US judge
Federal judge rules in favour of State Department in case of green card applications
A federal judge has ruled in favor of the Department of State regarding the results of the Diversity Visa Lottery draw in May, which saw 22,000 green card applicants falsely notified that they had won the lottery.
Yesterday the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the class action suit taken by the group, some of whom were Irish. The group was attempting to stop the government from nullifying the initial results of the draw.
At the beginning of May, 22,000 people were notified they had been selected for a green card through the annual Diversity Lottery program. The results were later declared null and void after it emerged there had been a glitch in the selection process.
In mid-May the State Department announced that their original selection was not a true random sampling of the 15 million people worldwide who had applied. More than 90 percent of the 22,000 were selected from the first two days of the registration period. An omission described as
"non-fair, nonrandom result," by a State Department Official during a briefing in May.
Irish citizen Stuart McBrien was elated on May 1 when he discovered he had been selected for a green card, only to later see his offer retracted.
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“I just can’t help thinking what would happen if the situation was the other way around -- if the Irish government had made a commitment to a bunch of U.S. citizens -- I’m sure they would bend over backward to make sure they honored it no matter what,” McBrien told the Irish Voice.
Speaking about yesterday’s ruling McBrien thanked the court for dealing with the case in a swift manner.
“I have understanding towards the State Department with respect to their intent to run a drawing that is both fair and seen to be fair, but I regret the perceived necessity that this must be done at the expense of innocent parties who were notified as part of the first drawing,” McBrien said in a statement.
Commenting on the result, attorney for the plaintiff, Ken White of White and Associates said that although they respect the court ruling they “disagree with the court’s analysis”
“The end result is that the American government has lost credibility – promising 22,000 individuals the right to proceed with the immigration process and then snatching away that hope and promise,” a statement said.
“The State Department may have won in court, but it has lost the hearts and minds of 22,000 individuals from all around the world,” he concluded.
The State Department said the results of the new drawing would be available in the coming week.
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