As I mentioned on Friday, there is a hearing today for the legal team to challenge various aspects of the way the government agencies are prioritizing cases, not issuing in where the COVID related regional restrictions are in place and so on.
The hearing details are here.
The parties shall appear for a telephonic hearing on Plaintiffs’ Request for an Emergency Status Conference, ECF No. , on September 14, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. Defendants shall file a response to Plaintiffs’ filing by no later than 12:00 p.m. on that day. (Washing DC timezone).
If you want to listen in you can do so. Members of the public or media who wish to access the hearing may dial the court’s toll-free public access line: (877) 848-7030, access code 321-8747
The government has already lodged its written reply to the complaint – you can read their responses here.
I will listen in and update this article as the hearing progresses.
Rollcall of various lawyers for the plaintiffs – over 10 including the following:
JM going to address the 5 issues raised by counsel.
Charles Kuck lays out the issues and points out the government is still refusing to issue, when they only have the right to refuse entry. This is particularly damaging for Regional restrictions. He says the gov is disregarding the “crystal clear” order.
JM asks for approximate numbers of people affected by the regional orders. CK estimates that as being 30/35% – that’s a bit high, but it would certainly be thousands of people in the various groups.
CK points out the “impossibility clause” of the current government position.
JM questioning why the regional bans restrict issuance. He is pointing out that there is an additional layer/requirement to travel outside the restricted area – that being an additional “hurdle” for certain people. He gets the unfairness.
Government lawyer is waffling.
JM says the government are “dancing on the head of a pin”. Quite.
JM points out they have no statutory authority to stop processing visas. And as a practical note recognizes the absurdity of forcing people to travel outside the affected area to get the visa.
Gov lawyer says it does “look a little strange”. Oh really?
Love this Judge. He gives them enough rope to hang themselves.
Gov lawyer talking about hotspots. That’s NONSENSE.
Gov lawyer tries to say the other regional proclamations did not come up. They made those proclamations an issue.
JM points out there is nothing in those regional proclamations about issuance. Points out gov added an additional layer and without reason.
JM questions whether he can “do anything about that today”.
Charles Kuck – points out that GOV response is “untrue”.
JM trying to decide what he can do.
Charles Kuck points out JM can fix this and says “DoS want you to do it”. We hear no argument to that last point – and it is probably true.
JM says he needs to “think about it” – referring to how he can provide relief. He clearly understands the regional restrictions should not be applied to this, but is trying to decide how he can “add on” to stop the harm.
CK provides Supreme Court guidance to encourage the judge to rule on this.
Gov says they have not been acting in bad faith.
Gov accepts the point that Kuck said – that having clarity in the order would be helpful. THEY WANT to be told what to do! They point out that the deadline got moved to September 15 because of the 14 days.
JM again points out that was because of State Dept decision.
JM says he is going to take the request as a motion – so he will try to do something for the regional restrictions.
JM moving on to other points. Not prepared to rule or hint about extension – but is still deciding whether he has the power. He seems to lean toward extension while the ban is in place until Dec 31. That could be good. He might be leaning toward giving some time back once Dec 31 is passed! BUT he will NOT rule on that today.
Jesse Bless asks to move the report up to the 21st. Gov agrees. JM says he is fine with getting the status report only on Monday (21st).
JM moving to 3rd issue – extension of medicals. CK asks for extension of medical exam which drives the validity of the visa itself.
CK points out that some countries limit medical validity to 90 days. The only time I am aware of that is for specific medical conditions (TB for example).
JM points out a 90 day validity is useless – Gov agrees. Says it would be “difficult”. Says it would take some time to approach CDC for a change in that policy.
Charles Kuck is sharp as a tack.
JM encourages the parties to talk about it and points out that medical can add a layer of complexity – suggests State does something with CDC.
JM moving to 4th issue. Non named plaintiffs. JM says he would rather do something on those next week. He wants to do as much as he can to help non named plaintiffs.
JM confirms he wanted to help ALL, not just named.
CK pointing out KCC not helping non named.
JM says that is not entirely consistent to the order (for KCC to say people are out of luck).
JM moving to 5th issue – the two countries mentioned. JM not prepared to order something special for Cuba and Azerbajan.
JM wrapping up
Raphael Urena pointing out the danger of people being forced to travel to third countries. JM asks what would you like me to do about it.
Gov says essentially – we have always done it this way – JM not having that argument! He says – show me where there is written justification for that.
That concludes the hearing.
Comments about the hearing:
September 14, 2020 at 19:34
September 14, 2020 at 19:35
Charles Kuck!!! Just wow
September 14, 2020 at 19:42
Charles Kuck is superior. What a lawyer, since the start hes great. JM is undecided about many things, always has to think and rethink. GOV is so helpess and they have 0% arguments and facts. Case is lost for them. Why JM acts so much undecided this time and last time 4Sep? Just remove 14days ban and extend 30 september. We have won, we will win9/21! JUSTICE WILL TALK
September 14, 2020 at 20:02
September 14, 2020 at 20:11
Hello , Brit !
Issue 4. Non named plaintiffs..
“Is not entirely consistent” , means he will do something about it next week ?
September 14, 2020 at 22:09
Well it means he recognizes the problem. Whether he can do something or not is another thing. Wait and see.
September 16, 2020 at 05:48
God bless BRIT, God bless our legal team and God bless the judge. God grant you all the wisdom and strength necessary to help us always.Amen
September 14, 2020 at 20:12
Thank you BritSimon for being with us, helping us, making all of these efforts for us. You and all of the lawyers are our heroes!
September 14, 2020 at 20:15
I am very grateful to Curtis, being one of his original plaintiffs. But I have to admit that Charles Kuck is single handedly wiping the floor with the gov. lawyers, and we wouldn’t be nowhere near to where we got today if it wasn’t for him! What an incredible man!
September 14, 2020 at 22:09
September 14, 2020 at 20:15
Thank you sir for this report!
September 14, 2020 at 20:16
Like always. Thank you for your very quick update, really appreciate it. Take care.
September 14, 2020 at 20:18
Kuck is our hero!!!
Many thanks to you Brit, as well! It is because of people like you that there is still hope.
September 14, 2020 at 20:34
Always a pleasure reading/hearing from u.
How do I apply for Trump vs Gomez lawsuit for deadline extension? Pls for the link if u know of any.
May God continue to bless u sir
September 14, 2020 at 22:07
It is too late to be added to that lawsuit – you just have to wait for the outcome.
September 14, 2020 at 20:52
Thanks Brit for your update ,God bless you.
September 14, 2020 at 21:27
I can’t imagine how we could do without your help, thank you so much! You also make us smile with your comments to hearings ?
Do you know when will JM express his opinion about today’s hearing?
September 14, 2020 at 22:06
He did not set a timeline.
September 14, 2020 at 21:39
Thanks Simon! I received my 2NL just an hour prior to the conference today. Interview at Amsterdam. Hearing the Judge I assume he will fix the Schengen issue soon.
September 14, 2020 at 22:05
Ha! That’s interesting!
September 14, 2020 at 22:03
I just saw a story posted 1 HOUR AGO on the DoS Fb saying the following:
DV 2020 SELECTEES ARE NOW CONSIDERED MISSION CRITICAL. DV 2020 SELECTEES SHOULD CONTACT THE NEAREST U.S. EMBASSY FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.
Ah, yes, now, it is 15th September, and they post this on their Fb story. Fb story, folks. That is how much they care for spreading official info. The dv 2020 is mission critical since 4th september.
Brit, any thoughts? Should we call or wait? If i call and the Embassy is acting, I will lose my temper.
September 14, 2020 at 22:48
Please share the link
September 15, 2020 at 07:24
Please share the link of the article.
September 15, 2020 at 09:55
I do not know if the link will work, it is a story on FB page of U.S. Department of State: Consular Affairs – https://www.facebook.com/stories/1610736785714035
September 16, 2020 at 06:30
I’ve tried this link, but there is no such thing mentioned as you have described above. It has just got me more confused …
September 14, 2020 at 22:53
Does it show on the CEAC data how many visas were interviewed in a specific country?
September 15, 2020 at 01:28
September 14, 2020 at 23:17
Hi Brit, I got this email from kcc this evening 14 sept 2020. I’m in grp 5. Seems as if they’re only prioritizing named plaintiffs under Gomez vs Trump and those from grp 1 to 4.
Thank you for your email regarding the scheduling of a Diversity Immigrant Visa interview appointment.
Consistent with the court order in Gomez v. Trump, the Department of State is making a good-faith effort to adjudicate as many Diversity Visa applications as possible notwithstanding Presidential Proclamation 10014. Please note, however, the DV-2020 Program expires on September 30, 2020 and, in accordance with law, diversity visas may no longer be issued after that date. The Department expects that, due to resource constraints, limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and country conditions, we will not be able to adjudicate applications for all Diversity Visa selectees by that expiration date.
As ordered by the court, we are prioritizing individual named plaintiffs in the court case Gomez v. Trump and its companion cases who are applying for Diversity Visas. Beyond that, we have established priorities based on statutory standards and categories of cases most likely to result in timely issuances for eligible applicants. Accordingly, we are prioritizing applicants who have already been interviewed and who either have been determined eligible for a visa or may be determined eligible for a visa with additional information. We will also prioritize applicants with appointments that were cancelled in March, April, or May due to the COVID-19 pandemic and worldwide suspension of routine processing. Diversity Visa Selectees who have heard from the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) that they are documentarily qualified, but awaiting an interview date, will be scheduled in accordance with their rank order and post’s capacity, consistent with our standard processes. For more details, see https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/diversity-visa-DV-2020-update.html.
The Kentucky Consular Center
September 15, 2020 at 01:26
Yes, see my answer to others.
September 15, 2020 at 17:12
This become an auto-reply now. We will see this response hereafter in Embassies. I saw it from the immigration visa unit of U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
September 15, 2020 at 20:17
I’ve got the same reply today (Group 4, non plaintiffs, EU265XX). The US Embassy here is working too slow (KCC as well) dealing with Group 1 and 2 – my impression is they will process only plaintiffs. The Medical goes much faster but they need confirmation interview. To some people the Embassy told to do first the interview than give the Medical. In normal times the Embassy processed 70+ people/day, now is 3-4 people/day. Looks like there is no good faith but bureaucratic obstruction. Lets hope for the extension or another juridical way of treating humanly!
September 14, 2020 at 23:54
Hi Mr Brit, thanks for this update. I I called KCC today and the lady was not welcoming. She didnot even give me a chance to speak. All she said was, “are you a named plaintiff? If not, then my chance is gone becausebthey are working only with named plaintiffs”
1) please help us to extend our worries( the non- plaintiff) to the lawyers so that we should also have a place. Thanks.
September 15, 2020 at 00:57
I hope they will extended the DV 2020 atleast for a few more months. The uscis is also trying to frustrate applicants who are adjusting status in the US through DV 2020. How can i contact attorney Charles Kuck i need a representation asap.
September 15, 2020 at 01:22
@ckuck on twitter.
September 15, 2020 at 13:07
I did AOS in USA for dv2020 and I alresdy have a green card
Why did you apply d late ??
I sent all my documents in end of April !
I hope it all go well !
September 15, 2020 at 01:11
We are from a post covid Travel Ban country. Now, embassy is scheduling interview with us. We don’t want to go for the interview and wait for the judge decision. Do you know what will happen if we decline the interview? Do you think we will able to reschedule the interview again in case the deadline is extended? I know your answer might be it depends on judge decision. But, I just want your thoughts. 🙂
September 15, 2020 at 01:18
Be clear. What country.
September 15, 2020 at 05:53
Hi Simon, we are from Myanmar(Burma)
September 15, 2020 at 06:12
Sorry, i mean pre covid travel ban country. 🙂
September 15, 2020 at 02:00
Hlo sir i m dv winner 2020, i checked ceac data ,my case no.at nvc,that means what?
September 15, 2020 at 02:20
Nothing. Ignore it.
September 15, 2020 at 02:27
Hi Brit,a quick question!For example ,am programmed for an interview next and i do my medicals but the results come out in first weeks of October!Can the embassy refuse that the results of the medicals came outside or beyond the Fiscal year ?
September 15, 2020 at 02:33
September 15, 2020 at 12:58
What does this mean for DV 2020 winners who are in group 5?
September 15, 2020 at 14:25
Nothing. Group 5 (non named) still can only hope for an extension.
September 15, 2020 at 13:52
Hello Brit thank you so much for what you are and still doing for us, devoting your time, effort and energy is more than anyone could ever ask for. you are amazing and a huge thanks to all the incredible lawyers involved as well. the last 15 days will be nerve racking for all of us i pray and hope that there will be an extension. thanks once again Brit and Mrs Brit looks so beautiful cheers to her for having a wonderful and caring husband.
September 15, 2020 at 14:37
Yeah, Mrs Brit is way out of my league.
September 15, 2020 at 14:23
Hi Simon, so my interview and medical got scheduled. I’ve one question regarding my situation.
As I was present in the US on the effective date of PP10014 so I’m planning to go to Mexico for two weeks to eliminate PP9993 since PP10014 doesn’t effect me according to the state department’s website. However do you have any idea if I need a waiver for this? I have proof through my I-94 just wondering if you know what else is needed.
September 15, 2020 at 14:43
I don’t know. Why not just wait until January?
September 15, 2020 at 16:11
I’ve my flight training resuming in October ?
September 15, 2020 at 16:20
Tough times for pilots here at the moment.
As be being exempt from 10014, I think you lost that exemption when you left the USA. However, you can try to argue that, and some people have succeeded. If you feel it was clarified by the DoS – then print that clarification out.
September 15, 2020 at 14:57
I called KCC regarding my case coz i sent my documents since last year november my case number 2020AF53**5 and they told me if i didn’t participate in one of the lawsuit i won’t get interview. But on saturday i register with one of the lawyers you post i joined them. Should i contact US Embassy here i am? In South Africa Johannesburg. Thank you Sir
DV 2020 winners we need to stick on faith hope for extending
September 15, 2020 at 16:05
You need the extension.
September 15, 2020 at 23:24
I believe next week 21st we will get extension.
God bless you
September 16, 2020 at 06:25
Hi Mr Brit, thanks for this update. I am in group 4. CN 2020AF484**. I called KCC today and the lady was not welcoming. She didnot even give me a chance to speak. All she said was, “are you a named plaintiff? If not, then my chance is gone becausebthey are working only with named plaintiffs”
1) please help us to extend our worries( the non- plaintiff) to the lawyers so that we should also have a place. Thanks.
2) if they should be an extension, does it mean, only those under a lawsuit wwil benefit?
September 16, 2020 at 20:06
2. I cannot predict if we get an extension or what the terms will be if we do.
September 16, 2020 at 22:06
All i can say is thank you all !!
And lets hope for an extension .
September 17, 2020 at 09:21
I’m uploading a little update today from Bulgaria.
I have no answer from the KCC by e-mail, and by phone everyone is busy and there is no connection.
I contacted the embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, by phone.
The answer to the questions:
As one of the winners in DV2020.
Me: Are there any scheduled interviews for DV2020 at the embassy in Sofia?
Consul: The last date for interviews is September 29, the deadline for the program is September 30.
Me: Are there actually any interviews and are there any scheduled interviews?
Consul: The interviews are scheduled by KCC and there are no interviews scheduled by KCC yet.
Me: Has a schedule with dates and times for interviews under the DV2020 program been sent by the embassy in Sofia? (A few days ago they said that they must first send a schedule with their capacities to KCC)
Consul: We have long sent a schedule to the KCC, but we still do not have scheduled interviews. We have given enough slots for the interview. (when they sent the schedule there was something for everyone)
PS: The consular officer was tense in his tone. (I felt that they did everything possible for us)
It all depends on KCC, but they do not give us a chance.
I’m sorry to have a written email, but if these words carry weight, I think it’s good for us all to know them.
Thank you for everything, Brit.
September 17, 2020 at 19:20
Yes, its clear that KCC have not pushed out work on non named plaintiffs to all the embassies – they have lost time that could have been used.
September 19, 2020 at 00:45
I don’t see what is confusing at all.
September 21, 2020 at 02:34
I had my interview in Montreal on Sep 18th as a dual Iranian citizen.
Obviously the medical was not ready as a deficiency and I was also asked to submit DS-5535 forms for both adults on the file (probably because of my citizenship) but my file was not put on AP unless asking for such a form is automatically considered AP.
My kid’s passport was also has only 5 months validity left and I was asked to renew it.
I am currently struggling to find a way to renew his passport since passport is only being issued for emergency situations.
Still keeping my hope with short time remaining time
September 21, 2020 at 03:03
Keep trying – I’m not sure of any tips I can give.
September 21, 2020 at 14:42
Just want to tell you that my visa has just been re-issued! Do you know if it is correct that it is subject to the pp 10014 even if the original visa was issued on February before the proclamation? Is it maybe because it was transferred to another embassy?
Without your help it wouldn’t have been possible! Thank youuu!
September 21, 2020 at 16:04
Great! Theoretically you should be able to enter before Dec 31, but if the annotation says you cannot, just plan to enter in January.