Screenshot of Bureau of Consular Affairs notice posted on 22,000 Tears Facebook page.

Due to a computer glitch, 22,000 people were erroneously awarded green card status last May. The Bureau of Consular Affairs, which oversees the lottery, sought to fix the mistake by holding a redraw in July. To say that the thousands of people who thought they were going to be eligible for US permanent residency were disappointed, would be an understatement. The Facebook group 22,000 Tears represents those who were told that they were no longer eligible. The Wall Street Journal reported last week specifically on the cause of the glitch — the computer program had never been tested, according to a report released by the State Department’s Inspector General Office. The WSJ article quotes directly from the report. The mistake “caused a great deal of stress for persons who were initially notified of their selection…but subsequently had their selections nullified,” it states.

I understand that the purpose of this article was to inform readers of an ongoing ordeal at the Bureau of Consular Affairs. That said, I would have appreciated a link to an article covering the backlash. There is certainly a conflict worth covering here. A quote from someone other than the Bureau’s spokesperson would have provided a bit of balance and recognized the wider implications of the mistake.

— Marianna Nash