According to VISA, the use of cryptographic credit cards has reached 2.5 billion dollars

According to VISA, the use of cryptographic credit cards has reached 2.5 billion dollars

According to VISA

In an earnings conference a few days ago, Visa said its customers made $ 2.5 billion in payments using its linked crypto cards during the first fiscal quarter of 2022. That's over 70% of all. volume of crypto card payments made during fiscal year 2021, signaling increased adoption of digital asset payments.

Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu expressed optimism in an interview with CNBC. "For us, this finding signals that consumers see usefulness in having a Visa card linked to an account on a crypto platform," he said, citing an instant and seamless ability to manage purchases and finance payments. br>
By the first half of 2021, only $ 1 billion had been spent on cryptocurrencies using Visa cards. Crypto-linked cards allow customers to spend cryptocurrencies wherever Visa cards are accepted, without merchants having to be familiar with the asset class. They receive fiat transactions like typical Visa transactions, while the payment processor handles conversions on the backend.

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Visa has shown a wide interest in the expansion of the cryptocurrency sector and its adoption as a whole. In December, the company launched crypto-consulting services for its clients to engage financial institutions in the asset class. The payment giant also recently partnered with artist Micash Johnson to educate artists on how NFTs can help monetize their art and advance their careers.

State Dept. Continues To Fight Diversity Visa Immigrants In Court

The U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Donald Trump blocked the entry of immigrants on Diversity Visas, and the Biden administration has continued to fight in court against issuing and reserving the visas. Even though Joe Biden denounced and ended the Trump proclamation against Diversity Visa winners and other immigrants, the Biden administration has appealed court rulings that would allow many Diversity Visa recipients to immigrate to the United States.

“President Biden has publicly decried Trump-era policies for the harm they have done to Diversity Visa selectees and ordered the Secretary of State to review agency actions that came from those policies and take corrective action,” said Aaron Hall of Joseph & Hall in an interview. “Instead of taking meaningful corrective action to get the Diversity Visa program back on course, the Department of State has defended its refusal to process Diversity Visa applications tooth and nail in court and only processed applicants at more than a trickle when forced by court order.”

“Congress established the Diversity Visa, and no administration has the authority to refuse to administer it in good faith. It’s long past time for the Department of State to stop defending the devastation of the Diversity Visa program in court and to get to work on expeditiously processing applicants whose hopes and dreams are on the line,” said Hall, who is among a team of attorneys litigating on behalf of FY 2021 Diversity Visa immigrants (in Goh v. U.S. Department of State) that includes Greg Siskind, Charles Kuck, Jeff Joseph, Curtis Morrison and Rafael Urena.

A Proclamation And Donald Trump’s Fabrications About The Diversity Visa Lottery: Throughout his presidency, Donald Trump misrepresented the workings of the Diversity Visa category, which allows up to 55,000 immigrant visas a year for individuals from countries underrepresented in the U.S. immigration system.

“Trump consistently mischaracterizes the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, claiming absurdly that foreign countries raffle off green cards granting legal residence in the United States,” according to Washington Post fact checkers Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly. “In fact, a computer program managed by a State Department office in Williamsburg, Ky., randomly selects up to 50,000 immigrant visa applications per year—out of nearly 15 million in 2017 from countries with low rates of immigration.” (Note: Fewer than 55,000 Diversity Visas have been issued in many years due to 1998 legislation.) The State Department did not defend Trump’s mischaracterization of Diversity Visas even during the Trump administration.

On April 22, 2020, Donald Trump stopped all Diversity Visa (DV) applicants from entering the United States by including them in a presidential proclamation that blocked nearly all immigrants from America. (Those who believe Donald Trump only opposed illegal immigration should recall this proclamation.)

The proclamation attempted to use the Covid-19 crisis to accomplish what the Trump administration could not achieve through legislation. On February 15, 2018, the U.S. Senate rejected measures nearly identical to the April 2020 proclamation in a White House-designed bill on a 60-39 vote on a “cloture motion”. (See page S1036 here.)

The proclamation claimed Diversity Visa recipients and other immigrants needed to be blocked due to unemployment, even though the Trump administration tried to eliminate the same immigration categories in the Senate when the U.S. unemployment rate was only 4.1%. Moreover, economists have found no evidence that the entry of immigrants increases the U.S. unemployment rate. (For example, see this study for the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) by economist Madeline Zavodny.) A court filing against the proclamation cited this April 21, 2020, article I wrote analyzing the lack of an economic justification for the presidential proclamation.

In an article for the Stanford Law Review, Patrick Kennedy makes the economic case for the Diversity Visa category. “Lottery spots create flows of immigrants from new sources; those immigrants then begin to create ethnic goods and services, including information networks, attractive enough to help pull the highly skilled into the U.S.,” writes Kennedy. “Thus, the DV system creates the necessary preconditions for the U.S. to serve as a global magnet for the best and brightest—because without it, as history shows us, highly-skilled individuals remain at home. The Diversity Visa program plays an important role in the long-term strategy for maintaining the competitiveness of the U.S. labor force. Without additional streams of immigrants looking to resettle, per-country caps on immigration and an eventual lack of interested, qualified candidates from high-admission countries would set the U.S. back competitively.”

Gomez v. Trump: On September 3, 2020, in Gomez v. Trump, Judge Amit P. Mehta struck down the State Department’s policy of not issuing or reserving visas for FY 2020 Diversity Lottery winners. The judge sided with the plaintiffs’ argument that the proclamation only blocked the entry of certain immigrants but did not stop the State Department from issuing or saving visas. However, the judge upheld the proclamation itself, which allowed a suspension of the entry of immigrants using presidential authority under section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The litigation team in the Gomez case for FY 2020 Diversity Visa winners included the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Justice Action Center (JAC) and Innovation Law Lab, with pro bono support from Mayer Brown LLP. (For a timeline of the Gomez litigation, see here.)

“The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the defendants to commence processing the 9,905 DV-2020 visas as soon as is feasible, and to conclude such processing no later than the end of FY2022, or 9/30/22,” according to a summary from AILA. “The court instructed that the reserved visas must be issued to eligible qualified immigrants strictly in a random order pursuant to INA §203(e)(2). The court will also require the government to file periodic reports indicating how many reserved DV-2020 visas it has adjudicated; the first such report is to be filed by 1/11/22, and additional reports shall be filed every 60 days thereafter until adjudication of the reserved visas has concluded.”

The proclamation and processing issues resulted in only 19,125 Diversity Visas to be issued in FY 2020, well below the typical 50,000 to 55,000, according to State Department statistics. Final official data are not yet available, but in FY 2021 only 17,843 Diversity Visas were issued, according to data compiled by Simon Paul for That’s fewer than half of the 54,850 Diversity Visas eligible to be issued in FY 2021. Moreover, State Department processing is so far behind this year that only 208 Diversity Visas were issued during the first three months of FY 2022—a pace that would leave tens of thousands of Diversity Visa winners unable to immigrate.

Goh Litigation For FY 2021 Diversity Visa Winners: New litigation emerged on behalf of winners of Diversity Visas in FY 2021. “In early September 2020, the court granted preliminary injunctive relief for the class, requiring the State Department to adjudicate the plaintiffs’ diversity visa applications and reserve 9,095 diversity visa numbers for processing pending the matter’s final disposition,” notes a memorandum opinion and order in Goh v. U.S. Department of State by Judge Mehta (September 9, 2021). “Despite the court’s preliminary ruling, the State Department did not abandon its legal position. It continued to implement as agency policy that Proclamation 10014’s ban on entry legally foreclosed the State Department from issuing diversity visas. The State Department applied this policy to the next group of diversity visa lottery winners, those selected for FY 2021. As a result, it refused to schedule interviews at consular offices worldwide for FY 2021 diversity visa winners—a necessary procedural step to visa issuance.

“This policy continued until shortly after President Joseph Biden took office. In February 2021, the new administration lifted the restriction on scheduling FY 2021 selectees for consular interviews. Though interviews could now proceed, they would be scheduled under a prioritization scheme the State Department adopted in November 2020 that placed diversity visas in the lowest priority tier for processing immigrant visas. By then, the first five months of FY 2021 had passed with the State Department having issued almost no diversity visas.

“Because diversity visa selectees are eligible for a visa only until the end of the fiscal year for which they are selected, that meant that only seven months remained to process and adjudicate the annual allotment of 55,000 diversity visas authorized by Congress. The State Department publicly acknowledged in April 2021 that its issuance of FY 2021 diversity visas likely would not approach the statutory ceiling.”

In his opinion on FY 2021 Diversity Visas, Judge Mehta sided with the plaintiffs on the central issues. “For the foregoing reasons, the court grants the Goh Plaintiffs summary judgment on their claims that the No-Visa Policy is contrary to law and Defendants unreasonably delayed their visa applications.” He also issued an order to the State Department: “Defendants shall undertake good-faith efforts, directly and through their designees, to expeditiously process and adjudicate DV-2021 applications and derivative beneficiary applications by September 30, 2021.”

What has happened since the judge’s order? “The order was issued on September 30, 2021, reserving 481 visas for Goh plaintiffs to be issued before 9/30/2022,” said Aaron Hall. “To date, none have been issued and the State Department has said that they will not begin to issue them until at least April. In addition, State filed a notice of appeal and waited for approval from the Solicitor General to proceed with the appeal.”

State Department Receives Approval To Appeal: “The Biden administration has received permission from Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar to continue its war on about 30k Diversity Visa immigrants in appeals of orders in DV2020 and DV2021 lawsuits,” reported Curtis Morrison on January 28, 2022. He cited a Department of Justice attorney who stated in an email: “Defendants [the State Department] have received authorization to appeal the DV cases and are thus moving to consolidate [cases].”

What Will The State Department Appeal? “The State Department will contest the court’s authority to order visas reserved beyond the fiscal year, and they may also contest the judge’s ruling that their ‘no visa’ policy was unlawful and that their relegation of Diversity Visa processing to the bottom priority was illegal,” said Hall.

“One critical point to emphasize—the government will seek a ‘stay’ of Judge Mehta’s order in Gomez while the appeal is pending,” said Jesse Bless of Wasden Banias in an interview. “If granted, this will suspend the issuance of the 9,095 reserved visas.” Bless was involved in the Gomez case as director of litigation at AILA.

The State Department’s actions in court contradict Joe Biden’s statements on his immigration policy and seem designed to protect the agency’s bureaucratic authorities.

“[Proclamation 10014] does not advance the interests of the United States,” stated Joe Biden when he issued a proclamation revoking Donald Trump’s proclamation 10014. “To the contrary, it harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here. It also harms industries in the United States that utilize talent from around the world. And it harms individuals who were selected to receive the opportunity to apply for, and those who have likewise received, immigrant visas through the Fiscal Year 2020 Diversity Visa Lottery. Proclamation 10014 has prevented these individuals from entering the United States, resulting, in some cases, in the delay and possible forfeiture of their opportunity to receive Fiscal Year 2020 diversity visas and to realize their dreams in the United States.” (Emphasis added.)

The State Department’s continued efforts against Diversity Visa winners have alarmed attorneys and organizations beyond concern for individual potential immigrants. The use of section 212(f) to eliminate the use of legal immigration categories authorized by Congress by employing dubious justifications will remain a threat to U.S. citizens wanting to sponsor family members, businesses seeking skilled employees and other potential immigrants unless or until the law is changed. (See a 2021 NFAP report here.)

By appealing court decisions that favored Diversity Visa immigrants, the State Department and the Biden administration may cause more individuals to fail “to realize their dreams in the United States.” Moreover, if the State Department and Biden administration prevail in their appeal, it would limit the tools immigrants, attorneys and others would have to fight a future presidential proclamation restricting immigration into the United States.

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