AP: Immigration lawyer from Alaska wins “genius” grant
12:37 pm, September 25th, 2013
An immigration lawyer who helps miltary families has been awarded a $625,000 so-called “genius” grant by the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The Associated Press story on the grants to 24 people who sometimes work on obscure issues says the following about the lawyer:
With an eye to a more contemporary, but just as forgotten, issue, attorney Margaret Stock focuses on military personnel and their families who she says are victimized by the nation’s immigration laws.
After Sept. 11, as politicians asked the nation to take care of those fighting for their country, Stock was getting call after call, hearing things like a soldier begging her to stop immigration officials from deporting his wife to Mexico.
“He’s on the tarmac … about to be deployed and says his wife took a wrong turn into a construction zone, was picked up by immigration, they had her in jail and were trying to deport her.” said Stock, who lives in Anchorage, Alaska. “The pain that’s being caused right now is tremendous.”
To help, Stock created the American Immigration Lawyers Association Military Assistance Program, which puts volunteer attorneys across the nation with military families that need help.
Recipients of the grants say the money will only aid their work, giving them time to research and time off from figuring out how to pay for it.
Fiction writer Karen Russell worked at a veterinarian clinic part-time while writing the acclaimed novel “Swamplandia.” Her grant money buys her time.
“Just the idea of having a stretch of time where you can commit your time wholeheartedly to a project, nobody gets that,” the New York City resident said.
For Stock, her thousands of dollars will mean one thing: People will be seeing more of her.
“This is going to let me advocate more,” she said.