Skip to main content
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Find a Lawyer

More Options

Green Card Lottery Lawsuit Dismissed by Judge

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on July 15, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

For millions, the green card lottery is their ticket to the American dream. Winners of the green card lottery, open to citizens from countries that have low rates of immigration to the U.S., have the chance to apply for a green card. But now, a green card lawsuit has been dismissed by a federal judge.

The reason for the lawsuit? A glitch in the State Department's computer systems made it so that the "random" selection of the 15 million or so entrants into the lottery was not so random, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The result has been heartbreaking for hopeful-citizens. The State Department did not realize its error until it had already notified 22,316 applicants that they had been selected for the lottery. And, in finding the error, the State Department voided the results, launching a new lottery. A class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of the "winners."

Apparently, the results had been skewed because the "random" selection by the computer had actually favored applicants who applied during the first two days of the registration period of the lottery, instead of weighing all applicants similarly, reports the Contra Costa Times.

Still, the results - and the subsequent nullification of said results - were heartbreaking for many. The class action was filed in order to make the State Department keep the original results. And, part of the plaintiffs' argument was that the results were random, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The plaintiffs had argued that the results were "random" because none of the entrants knew that they might have gained an advantage if they had completed the application within the first two days. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that this characterization of the lottery "makes a hash of the statute" and would defy common sense, reports the Contra Costa Times.

The results of the new green card lottery will be released soon. And, with the green card lawsuit dismissed, the 20,000 plus erroneously notified "winners" can only hope they have a second shot.

Related Resources:

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
Copied to clipboard