The ACLU filed a federal lawsuit challenging the State Department’s refusal to process visa applications for winners of the U.S. Diversity Visa Program lottery who hail from the six countries covered by President Trump’s Muslim ban. The ban currently blocks individuals from Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia, who do not have bona fide connections or fall within another exception, from entering the United States until September 24, 2017. It does not, however, allow the government to refuse to issue visas to them, in violation of federal statutes and regulations.
The program requires consulates to issue visas to lottery winners no later than September 30, or the winners lose their chance to immigrate to the United States. The case filed today asks that the government process lottery winners’ visa applications by that date, as required by federal law and regulations. The lawsuit was brought by Jenner & Block, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of the District of Columbia, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the National Immigration Law Center.
UPDATE: A federal hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21.