Case Status: On appeal
Gomez v. Biden
We challenged the immigrant and nonimmigrant visa bans in order to protect families from indefinite separation and to prevent the suspension of the U.S. visa system.
UPDATE: The D.C. Circuit has agreed to hear the appeal of this case on an expedited basis. Oral argument will take place this Friday, September 16, 2022 at 9:30 AM Eastern Standard Time. If you would like to watch or listen to the argument, the court will post a livestream at this link: https://www.youtube.com/USCourtsCADC.
If you are a DV-2020 Selectee but had not yet received your 2020 Diversity Visa as of April 23, 2020, you are automatically a member of the certified class. You do not need to take any additional steps to become a member of the class, and you will not receive any documentation from the court or counsel about your membership.
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Innovation Law Lab and our partners challenged President Trump’s immigration bans in federal court in order to protect families from indefinite separation and to prevent the suspension of the U.S. visa system.
The complaint asked the court to block Presidential Proclamations 10014 and 10052, which effectively suspended most immigration to the United States. In signing these immigration bans, the President indefinitely separated thousands of families, threw the business plans of companies into chaos, eliminated visa categories that allow hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals to live and work in the United States, and rejected decades of Congressional judgment. Family reunification is the cornerstone of U.S. immigration policy, but under this new Proclamation, thousands of families were needlessly and cruelly separated from one another. Meanwhile, instead of protecting the U.S. labor force, the ban endangered the nation’s economy and reduces the global competitiveness of U.S. companies—to the detriment of U.S. workers.
The complaint was filed on behalf of family-based immigrant visa petitioners, diversity visa lottery winners, and nonimmigrant visa sponsors, including those who want to bring in healthcare professionals from abroad to help during the pandemic. Plaintiffs allege that the immigration ban violates their rights under the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Administrative Procedure Act and exceeds the scope of the President’s lawful powers.
Following President Biden’s rescission of Proclamation 10014, Law Lab and its partners continue to advocate for relief for diversity visa class members. On October 13, 2021, the district court in Gomez issued its final decision, ordering the State Department to process the 9,095 visas reserved for members of the Gomez class by September 30, 2022. The court ordered processing to commence “as soon as is feasible,” and the reserved visas to be “issued to eligible qualified immigrants strictly in a random order.” 8 U.S.C. § 1153(e)(2).
In March 2022, Judge Mehta temporarily stayed (paused) his October 2021 order, which had required the federal government to process and issue the 9,095 reserved DV-2020 visas. On April 5, 2022, Judge Mehta agreed to extend this stay (pause) of the October 2021 order, while the government appeals that order to the D.C. Circuit appellate court. This extended stay means that the government is not required to process or issue any of the 9,095 reserved diversity visas until the D.C. Circuit court issues its opinion in the case, which will occur after oral argument in September 2022. In the meantime, however, Judge Mehta has required the Department of State to continue modifying its technology systems to enable the prompt issuance of DV-2020 visas if the D.C. Circuit affirms (agrees with) the October order.
The lawsuit was filed in the District Court for the District of Columbia by Innovation Law Lab, Justice Action Center (JAC), and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), with pro bono support from Mayer Brown LLP.