President Donald Trump’s administration has been ordered by a federal judge in Washington to resume issuing immigrant diversity visas to persons who won them through the Green Card lottery 2020, after the latter procedures were frozen amid the COVID-19 ban on temporary US work visas, VisaGuide.World reports.
More than 55,000 visas are issued annually by the United States to persons coming from other countries, a large share of them from the continent of Africa.
Diversity visas’ winners who are not vetted for green cards at US consulates could lose their spots if they do not get their visas by September 30 of the year they won.
For this year, the US Department of State issued nearly 12,000 diversity visas. However, in April, President Donald Trump imposed the temporary ban amid the Coronavirus pandemic, which brought the process of visa application for Green Card winners to a halt.
According to the US District Judge, Amit Mehta, nearly 43,000 winners are still waiting to finish their procedures.
“To be clear, there is no statutory requirement that every available diversity visa is issued each year. But that does not mean that the State Department could effectively extinguish the diversity program for a given year by simply sitting on its hands and letting all pending diversity visa applications time out,” Mehta pointed out.
The US President Trump has continuously insisted that the diversity visa lottery should be ended, asserting that it brings “the worst of the worst” to the country.
“Diversity visa lottery winners are people who have come to this nation, like millions before, to seek a better life for themselves and their families, and to pursue the American Dream. They do not deserve to be caricatured as common criminals, or to be used as a political wedge issue,” he stressed.
Trump has justified its decision to freeze the visa process until the end of this year, adding that it is a way to protect the economy of the United States from the damages caused by the pandemic Coronavirus.