For two decades millions of people overseas have dreamed of winning a visa to the United States in the diversity visa program. Fifteen million people applied this years, in the hope of winning one of 50,000 working visas or green cards in the random lottery.
Jalal El Mir, a 30-year-old middle school English teacher from Chefchaouen, Morocco, couldn’t believe his luck on May 1, when he learned that he was one of 22,000 winners.
Jalal's joy turned to despair last month when he logged on to the visa website and learned that his winning ticket had been withdrawn.
The State Department says that its computers selected winners from entries filed over just two days, rather than the 30-day period, and did not represent a fair, random selection of entrants. Jalal is joining hundreds of others in a lawsuit seeking to preserve the original winners’ results.