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A Loss for Pompeo, but Victory for DV-2020 Winners!

September 04, 2020 (1 min read)

Arreguin Gomez v. Trump

"1. The court preliminarily stays the No-Visa Policy as applied to DV-2020 selectees and their derivative beneficiaries. Defendants26 may not interpret or apply the Proclamations in any way that forecloses or prohibits embassy personnel, consular officers, or any administrative processing center (such as the Kentucky Consular Center) from processing, reviewing, or adjudicating a 2020 diversity visa or derivative beneficiary application or issuing or reissuing a 2020 diversity or derivative beneficiary visa based on the entry restrictions contained in the Proclamations. Except as provided in paragraphs 2 and 3 below, this order does not prevent any embassy personnel, consular officer, or administrative processing center from prioritizing the processing, adjudication, or issuance of visas based on resource constraints, limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or country conditions;
2. Defendants shall undertake good-faith efforts, directly and through their designees, to expeditiously process and adjudicate DV-2020 diversity visa and derivative beneficiary applications and issue or reissue diversity and derivative beneficiary visas to eligible applicants by September 30, 2020, giving priority to the named diversity visa Plaintiffs in Gomez, Aker, Mohammed, and Fonjong and their derivative beneficiaries;
3. The court preliminarily enjoins Defendants from interpreting and applying the COVID Guidance to DV-2020 selectees and their derivative beneficiaries in any way that requires embassy personnel, consular officers, or administrative processing centers (such as the Kentucky Consular Center) to refuse processing, reviewing, adjudicating 2020 diversity visa applications or issuing or reissuing diversity visas on the ground that the DV-2020 selectee or derivative beneficiary does not qualify under the “emergency” or “mission critical” exceptions to the COVID Guidance;
4. At this time, the court declines Plaintiffs’ request to order Defendants to reserve unprocessed DV-2020 visas past the September 30 deadline or until a final adjudication on the merits, but will revisit the issue closer to the deadline. Accordingly, the court orders the State Department to report, by not later than September 25, 2020, which of the named DV-2020 Plaintiffs in this action have received diversity visas, the status of processing of the named DV-2020 Plaintiffs’ applications who have not yet received visas, and the number of unprocessed DV-2020 visa applications and unused diversity visas remaining for Fiscal Year 2020."