major problem with our immigration laws is
that our legal immigration system is broken, which has
caused unlawful immigration to be a chronic
said the lawyer, a former recipient of Civil Air
Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award, the highest achievement
possible for CAP cadets. did not have these
problems when I was younger, mainly because
back then our laws were much more sensible
Stock firmly believes the solution is to
make the laws clear and simple so people can
understand them and comply appropriately.
With that in mind, she has created several
basic yet creative immigration programs that
have benefited the masses.
Because of her forward-thinking work,
Stock was named one of 24 MacArthur
Foundation Fellows last September and
given a prestigious no-strings genius grant
of $625,000 to pursue professional goals.
The idea of justice has been in her blood
from an early age, Stock said.
came from a family that had some troubles
because my father died when I was very she
recalled. grew up with a sense that it was important
to pursue justice, and that you could get better outcomes
if you use the legal system in a way that was
academic interest focuses on the connection between immigration and national security.
typically think of national security in an immigration context as keeping people out of the United
States, but much more than she said in video
testimony for the MacArthur Foundation. actually
about letting the right people into the United
Stock also believes immigration just about physical security: about economic security. about civil
liberties. about freedom. about the right to bring
up your family without having your family torn
As a former 28-year member of the U.S. Army
Reserve and retired lieutenant colonel in the military
police, career is grounded in military roots.
In 2008, when the Army was in the midst of a recruiting crisis, she began the Military Accessions Vital to the
National Interest program in cooperation with the
departments of Defense and Homeland Security.
were having a very difficult time in the midst
of a war finding volunteers for the all-volunteer
Stock said. reality, there were lots of people out there
that were highly qualified and interested in joining the
military. But because our legal immigration system is
broken, and has been for some time, it had become
extremely difficult for people to get a green
That prompted Stock to approach the Pentagon to try
to start a recruiting program that would allow legal immigrants who yet have green cards to join the military.
program initially had a quota in the Army of
890 people, and nearly 15,000 people signed up to fill
those she said.
Stock also created the American Immigration Lawyers
Association Military Assistance Program, which provides
free legal help to military members and veterans with
In addition, she prompted creation of the Naturalization at Basic Training Initiative, an intergovernmental
program designed to promote and expedite American
citizenship for military personnel by reducing processing
times and providing naturalization ceremonies at basic
Immigration lawyer Margaret Stock, seen here outside her office
in Anchorage, is one of two dozen 2013 MacArthur Foundation
Fellows. Photo courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Citizens Serving Communities