Tesfaye v. Blinken

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TEWOBESTA FESSEHA TESFAYE, et al., Plaintiffs, v. Civil Action No. 22-411 (CKK) ANTONY J. BLINKEN, et al., Defendants. MEMORANDUM OPINION (September 28, 2022) Plaintiffs in this action are selectees of the Diversity Visa Lottery for the 2022 fiscal year. By statute, their eligibility to receive diversity visas expires on September 30, 2022. Pending before the Court is a [31] Motion for a Temporary Restraining filed by Plaintiffs Abd Elrahman Abdin Elfaki Abdllatif, Yoousra Hussein Yousif Ali, O.A.E., D.A.E., A.A.E., and H.A.E (“Plaintiffs”) on September 23, 2022. Plaintiffs were interviewed by a consular officer at the United States Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan on August 9, 2022 and subsequently received notice that their diversity visa petitions were “refused” under INA § 221(g). Based on the record presently before the Court, Plaintiffs’ application remains in “administrative processing.” Plaintiffs seek an order compelling Defendants to process their visa application and/or preserve visas past the September 30 deadline. Upon consideration of the pleadings, 1 the relevant legal authorities, and the record as a whole, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs’ [31] Motion for Temporary Restraining Order. 1 The Court’s consideration has focused on the following: Plaintiffs’ Motion for Temporary Restraining Order (“Pls.’ TRO Mot.”), ECF No. 31; Defendants’ Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for a TRO (“Defs.’ Opp’n”), ECF No. 32; and Reply in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for TRO (“Pls.’ Reply”), ECF No. 34. In an exercise of its discretion, the Court finds that holding oral argument in this action would not be of assistance in rendering a decision. See LCvR 7(f). 1 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.” 2 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). Demand for diversity visas “regularly outstrips supply.” Gomez I, 485 F. Supp. 3d at 159; see also P.K. v. Tillerson, 302 F. Supp. 3d 1, 3 (D.D.C. 2017) (“Millions of people enter the lottery every year.”). Moreover, the “total number of lottery selectees exceeds the statutory numerical limit of visas” allocated to the DV program because if the Department “did not over select DV participants, it would not be able to use the full allocation of DV numbers.” Declaration of Morgan Miles (“Miles Decl.”) ¶ 5, ECF No. …

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