By JULIE WATSON | The Associated Press
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the Trump administration to save more than 9,000 U.S. slots for visa lottery winners affected by the government’s freeze on green cards earlier this year. But tens of thousands of other visa lottery winners will be out of luck.
U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta acknowledged that his order will mean only about half of the so-called diversity visas issued normally each year will be used. He said in his ruling that he gave the State Department leniency due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mehta rejected a request by lawyers to order 30,000 slots be saved for people who won the lottery but hadn’t yet been vetted. With about 15,400 visas issued so far in the 2020 fiscal year that ended Wednesday, the additional 30,000 sought by advocates for the lottery winners would have brought