US sued over green card blunder


A lawsuit has been filed against the US government alleging it unfairly denied 22,000 would-be legal immigrants with the right to a "green card" due to a computer blunder.

The class action legal case is being taken against the State department by applicants from more than 30 countries, including Ireland.

The lawsuit alleges the State Department informed some 22,000 people that they were "winners" in an annual lottery for diversity visas, granting permanent resident status. It subsequently informed the "winners" that in fact they had to be disqualified because a computer glitch meant they had not been randomly selected, which one of the key conditions for awarding the "green cards".

In a statement White & Associates, which has agreed to take the class action case on a pro bono basis, said the basis of the case was rooted in the simple and enduring value that "our word is our bond".

"In this case our Government has let these individuals down. They have broken a public and written commitment to 22,000 friends of America," said attorney Kenneth White.

"Real people have had their dreams unfairly shattered, and as a result, the public image of the United States as a fair and honorable country has been damaged around the world," he said.

State Department officials were not immediately available for comment.