While there were many, many things that the Trump Administration did not consider when it rolled out the first version of the
Muslim Travel Ban (like its constitutionality or general wisdom), I’m willing to bet that its impact on the Diversity Visa Program was among them. The Diversity Visa Program is, literally, a lottery for immigrant visas that can only be entered into by individuals from underrepresented countries. It is, as best, a long shot — 50,000 visas annually for about 16 million applicants. That’s about 0.3125% of applicants. There are better odds of Mississippi State winning a college football national championship in 2018.
As was to be expected, some winners of the 2018 Diversity Visa Lottery were from countries impacted by Travel Ban 2.0: The Trumpening. The program requires that winners receive their visas by September 30 or they lose their chance to immigrate. Travel Ban 2.0 is set to expire just days before the September 30 deadline, making it all but impossible for consulates the process the visas in time. Recognizing this inherent injustice, several winners have filed suit to force the consulates to process the visas as promised.
I certainly hope that the plaintiffs prevail in this one, as this seems like an unintended consequence of Travel Ban 2.0. But, when you govern by poorly thought out executive order, these things happen. Let’s hope that the U.S. District Court in D.C. can rectify the error.