On August 12, US District Judge Amit P. Mehta of the DC federal court ordered the federal government to turn over documents concerning the Trump administration’s coronavirus travel ban. As reported in an August 12 article in Law360, the federal government had until August 17 to hand over any policies, directives or orders.

Mayer Brown partners Andy Pincus (DC) and Matt Ingber (NY) and counsel Cleland Welton II (Mexico City) are representing diversity visa winners who say the virus restrictions have ruined the lottery program, as well as family-based and employment-based visa petitioners, in Gomez et al. v. Trump et al., case number 1:20-cv-01419, in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

The order stems from five consolidated suits claiming that President Trump’s virus-related travel restrictions, and the US State Department’s implementation thereof, violate federal law. Among the plaintiffs are winners of the 2020 diversity visa lottery. Diversity visas allow holders to stay and work in the United States indefinitely as lawful permanent residents, but under federal law the window to obtain such visas closes on September 30. Because they extend beyond that date, the Trump administration’s actions threaten to permanently prevent 2020 diversity visa lottery winners from obtaining visas for which they are now eligible. Other plaintiffs include US citizens and lawful permanent residents seeking to reunite with their family members, and US employers seeking to sponsor visas for foreign nationals who are vital to the employers’ businesses.

A hearing on the plaintiffs’ motions for preliminary injunctive relief is set for August 27.

The suit represents one of several actions on which Mayer Brown’s litigation and global mobility teams are collaborating with the business community to surmount obstacles to preserve visa, travel, and work and residency options for international corps relevant to US businesses and universities.

For information on other regulatory developments related to the pandemic, please visit our COVID-19 Portal.

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