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Pallone Demands Trump Administration Issue Visas to Winners of Diversity Visa Program

October 9, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today called on the Trump Administration to comply with a court order instructing the Trump Administration to preserve green cards for lottery winners of the Fiscal Year 2020 diversity visa program. A family member of one of Pallone’s constituents was chosen for a diversity visa but the Department of State has failed to process it as part of the Administration’s ongoing attacks on immigrants. In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, Pallone called on the Trump Administration to comply with the court order and requested more information on the Administration’s plans to ensure lottery winners are treated fairly. A copy of the letter is available here.    

 “The Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come to America and serves as a beacon of hope for the millions who apply each year.  I write to express my concern regarding the Trump Administration’s cruel and purposeful attacks on the DV Program and to request information regarding your compliance with the U.S. District Court’s September 30 order to preserve 9,095 of the unused green cards for visa lottery winners,” Pallone wrote. “The DV Program was established to diversify our immigrant population and the fortunate few who secure entry are chosen from an annual visa lottery that has recently seen as many as 14.7 million participants. Each of these hopeful applicants is invested in becoming part of another generation of immigrants that adds to the diverse social fabric of our country.”

Pallone’s constituent, Ms. Xheorxhina Shota of Colonia, New Jersey, was thrilled when her Albanian sister-in-law won the opportunity to join her in the United States through the diversity visa lottery. Unfortunately, her sister-in-law and brother are at risk of losing their slots as a result of the Trump Administration’s intentional failure to process visas. Ms. Shota and her family continue to seek answers with Congressman Pallone’s assistance.

“This visa would give my family the opportunity for a better life in the United States. I want to thank Congressman Pallone and his staff for their efforts to help my family get the diversity visa she fairly won in the lottery,” Ms. Shota said. “We’re still hoping this problem will be fixed and that she will be allowed into the United States and reunited with family members as soon as possible.”

The diversity visa program was established in 1990. It is designed to admit immigrants from countries that have historically low numbers of immigration to the United States. Applicants must come from eligible countries that have not sent more than 50,000 immigrants in the previous five years.