The State Department is reportedly investigating how it mistakenly informed 22,000 foreigners they had won visas to live and work in the United States in May.
The Department notified 22,000 people they had won a visa through the United States' Diversity Lottery, which grants 50,000 visas each year to applicants from countries that have low levels of immigration to America. (The only requirement is a high school diploma.) A whopping 15 million people applied.
Days later, the Department told the 22,000 people awarded visas under the program that a "computer glitch" had "caused 90% of the winners to be selected from the first two days of applications instead of the entire 30-day registration period," explains the Wall Street Journal. They were told they had to re-enter the lottery.
The blunder is referred to as "22,000 tears" by some of the people who were briefly elated to be granted admission to America before their hopes were dashed. They are organizing on Facebook and petitioning Hillary Clinton to reconsider her decision.
Some of their online comments are heartrending.
"I can't believe that this happened...It was the most beautiful time of my life for me, my husband and our 4 months baby...As a parent i thought for the future of my baby, she could have a better life than ours in U.S.A...I was happy because i had something beautiful to dream about," wrote Anisa Tane of Albania on a Facebook note called PLEASE MRS CLINTON HELP US. "It isn't fair to cancel what God wanted for us.."
"We lived 2 weeks in the sky, only to fall down on the hard floor on Friday 13th," wrote Tervel Nyagolov of Bulgaria. "We are young and good educated people, that lived with their American Dream for 13 days. It's not our fault. We don't deserve these emotions... So please, help us!"
The Journal says immigration attorneys are asking the Department to pick the other winners through a second lottery of the remaining applicants, arguing that it would still be a random lottery. The Department says it has asked the Office of Inspector General to review the blunder.
(Clinton: Thibault Camus/AP)