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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Last year Fatma became one of the lucky few selected out of millions who apply for the diversity visa lottery — a program intended to bring in immigrants from underrepresented countries.

What's happening: Now, the 29-year-old Albanian with a master's degree, and experience in hospital administration, is one of thousands fighting a pandemic and the Trump administration for her chance to move her family to the U.S.

  • Fatma had applied for a shot at a green card through the diversity visa lottery for over a decade before being selected.
  • Coronavirus canceled her visa interview scheduled for May of this year. Then Trump's immigration bans threatened to keep her from receiving the visa at all.

"If you think of winning the lottery and then the next day somebody tells you that no, you can't go to collect," that is what it was like, her attorney told Axios.

What to watch: Last week a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to resume issuing diversity visas before the Sept. 30 deadline.

  • Fatma's attorney said she has an interview next week. But even if she gets the visa, as long as Trump's proclamation is in effect, the State Department won't let her in.

Go deeper

Foreign investors poised to flood U.S. real estate markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There's huge pent-up demand among wealthy foreigners to buy property in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities — and some people began calling their money managers as soon as Joe Biden's victory was announced.

Why it matters: Cities whose economies are withering under the coronavirus may see a fresh jolt of life from the high-end real estate sector in 2021 and beyond, with money from abroad creating new jobs and business opportunities.

Why the Fed might want to jolt the markets

Fed chair Jerome Powell at a hearing earlier this month. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

So far, financial markets are cooperating nicely with the Federal Reserve's efforts to restrain inflation. They're doing the Fed's work for it by creating tighter financial conditions, in a distinctly non-panicky way.

  • But as the central bank's policymakers meet this week, an underlying question they face is whether the adjustment is happening too slowly.
Kate Marino, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Omicron outbreaks were bad for business in January

Data: New York Federal Reserve Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

Emerging anecdotal evidence shows just how hard the recent rise in COVID-19 cases hit businesses in early January — but that hasn't hurt some business leaders’ longer-term views of their companies' prospects.

Why it matters: Increasingly, the economic recovery has come in fits and starts that move in tandem with new peaks in cases. Look no further than the thousands of canceled flights and shuttered Broadway theaters in the wake of the Omicron variant's spread over the last few months.