Challenge to visa lottery dismissed by judge

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In a blow to thousands of hopeful would-be immigrants who had been told they'd won a chance to apply for a green card, a federal judge ruled that the State Department can toss out the results of its May visa lottery, which were deemed invalid because of a computer error.

The State Department said the results of a fresh drawing would be available Friday.

Members of the group had been seeking class action status in their bid to stop the government from nullifying their selection in the visa lottery.

In early May, about 22,000 people were notified they had won a chance to apply for a visa as part of the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, which is aimed at increasing the number of immigrants from the developing world and countries with historically low rates of emigration to the U.S.

One of them, 42-year-old French native Armande Gil, who lives in Florida, called Thursday's decision by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson another disappointment.

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