A post yesterday told the story of "22,000 Tears," a Facebook page set up by disappointed would-be immigrants to the United States who learned in early May that they had won immigrant visas in an annual federal lottery, then were soon informed there had been a computer error and that the lottery results would be voided.
Some 22,000 people were left in the lurch, hence the name of the Facebook group, through which some have been circulating a petition, posting protest videos and connecting from the countries they call home. Not surprisingly, the visa lottery story has made the global rounds. (I discussed it yesterday in an interview with the BBC.) And now, some readers who identify themselves as being among those whose hopes were crushed have been posting messages on this site.
in May 1 was announced as a result of random immigration, I was among the winners of the immigration I was very happy 13 days of happiness, but suddenly a shock large when U.S. State Department announced canceled results because error in the computer, Crashed our feelings because of this decision we are a human being
I wish that United States of America to consider to our feelings and we are confident trust in the justice of heaven (thanks)
please help us we are respect U.S. law and respect U.S. government and we respect U.S.people and we sure that America respect our fealling and our dreaming please help us.
we trust in us justice therefore am sur that we will be notified as a winners
A reader identified as Loosers Pounder disagreed with the others, writing:
It's like as if you found a wallet and didn't want to give it up since you got so much used to it (and money inside).
They were told that the selection was NOT random and accroding to LAW a redraw is necessary. But they keep saying that law is nothing and that's all about feelings but not law.
All these people protesting don't want law to be followed. They want their way no matter what.
...When results were known all participants wondered WTF, why only those who applied on 5th and 6th won? And many wrote to officials. That was a proper ocasion to fight for what's right. And it was won.
To which Andrey responded, mentioning a pending lawsuit and writing:
I agree that the lottery should be redrawn for people like you but 22.000 winners should be honored as well because the lottery was RANDOM. Nobody will be unhappy in this case. We feel your pain, you should feel our pain also. And in fact lots of media are very interested in our case and they thank us for contacting them. I am sorry but your points are useless.
A Los Angeles immigration lawyer, Kenneth White, confirmed by phone this morning that some of the hopeful immigrants plan to file a lawsuit. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the U.S. State Department's Inspector General plans to investigate the matter.
The State Department's Diversity Visa Lottery Program makes up to 55,000 immigrant visas available each year to people who apply for them via random selection, with results selected electronically. It was established with the intent of diversifying the pool of immigrants coming into the country, bringing in people from underrepresented developing countries and from countries with low rates of U.S. immigration.
In a statement last month, the State Department said the lottery would be redrawn among existing applicants, with new results to be announced in mid-July.