Dehghanighanatghestani v. Mesquita

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MAHZIAR DEHGHANIGHANATGHESTANI, Plaintiff, Civil Action No. 22-2595 (CKK) v. MARIO MESQUITA, et al., Defendants. MEMORANDUM OPINION (September 22, 2022) Plaintiff Mahziar Dehghanighanatghestani is a selectee of the Diversity Visa Lottery for the 2022 fiscal year. By statute, his eligibility to receive a diversity visa expires on September 30, 2022. Plaintiff was interviewed by a consular officer at the United States Embassy in Vienna, Austria on July 26, 2022, but subsequently received notice that his visa petition was “refused” under INA § 221(g), which directed Plaintiff to provide additional documentation in support of his visa application. Based on the record presently before the Court, Plaintiff’s application remains in “administrative processing.” Plaintiff filed an [6] Emergency Motion for a Temporary Restraining (“TRO”) and Preliminary Injunction (“PI”) on September 2, 2022. Therein, Plaintiff requests an order “enjoining” Defendants “from continuing the delay in processing his diversity visa.” Pl.’s TRO/PI Mot. at 11. In response to Plaintiff’s TRO Motion, Defendants filed a consolidated [9, 10] Opposition and Cross-Motion to Dismiss. Upon consideration of the pleadings, 1 the relevant legal 1 The Court’s consideration has focused on the following: ƒ Plaintiff’s Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction (“Pl.’s TRO/PI Mot.”), ECF No. 6; 1 authorities, and the record as a whole, the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s [6] Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and HOLDS IN ABEYANCE [9] Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss. The parties shall file a joint status report on SEPTEMBER 30, 2022, updating the Court on the status of Plaintiff’s visa application and addressing whether, in light of that status, Plaintiff shall voluntarily dismiss this case, whether his claims are moot, and/or whether the Court should proceed to rule on Defendants’ motion to dismiss, which is now ripe. I. BACKGROUND A. The Diversity Visa Program Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), “Congress has provided for up to 55,000 immigrant diversity visas to be distributed each fiscal year to foreign nationals that hail from countries with historically low levels of immigration to the United States.” Filazapovich v. Dep’t of State, No. 21-cv-943 (APM), 2021 WL 4127726, at *2 (D.D.C. Sept. 9, 2021) (citing 8 U.S.C. §§ 1151(e), 1153(c)). “Millions of hopefuls enter a lottery for the chance to apply for one of the 55,000 allotted diversity visas.” Id. (citing Gomez v. Trump (“Gomez I”), 485 F. Supp. 3d 145, 159 (D.D.C. 2020)). The selectees of the lottery “submit an application and various documents to be eligible for a visa number,” which can be used only during the fiscal year for which the selectee applied. Almaqrami v. Pompeo, 933 F.3d 774, 776–77 (D.C. Cir. 2019). ƒ Defendants’ Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint and Defendants’ Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion for TRO/PI (“Defs.’ Opp’n & Mot. to Dismiss”), ECF Nos. 9, 10; ƒ Plaintiff’s Memorandum of Points & Authorities in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and [in Reply] to Defendants’ Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion for …

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