Immigration Law

Lawyer wins genius grant, plans to promote message about immigration benefits

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Video from the MacArthur Foundation.

A lawyer who is one of 24 winners of this year’s “genius grants” by the MacArthur Foundation plans to use the money to get out her message about the benefits of immigration.

Anchorage lawyer Margaret Stock, 51, will get $625,000 over five years, report the Anchorage Daily News and the Associated Press. A former military policewoman who came to Alaska as a result of her service, Stock is the only lawyer in the Anchorage office of Cascadia Cross-Border Law, and she is Alaska’s co-chair for the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.

Stock focuses on the impact of immigration laws on military personnel and their families. She created a program linking volunteer lawyers with military families for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Stock tells the Anchorage Daily News that people are viewing security the wrong way. “We stopped looking at how immigrants contribute to our economic security, how they contribute to our national security, how they contribute to keeping us safe generally, how preserving civil liberties makes us safer,” she told the newspaper.

“I’ve been writing for years about the connection between immigration and national security and how, after 9/11, we looked at it the wrong way. We looked at it as, we need to keep people out of the United States to be safe, and what we really needed to do was think about letting the right people in to make us safer.”

The New York Times and AP report other genius grant winners, including a doctor who formed a group that sends doctors to visit and track poor patients with complex medical issues in Camden, N.J. The doctor, Jeffrey Brenner, is now working with 10 other cities to develop similar systems. “We cut, scan, zap and hospitalize [patients],” Brenner told AP. “But we forget we need to take care of them.”

Updated at 11:15 a.m. to correct a reference to Stock’s previous career as a military policewoman; updated at 11:53 a.m. to note her American Bar Foundation involvement.

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