Growing up I have been bedeviled by behavioral problems which at times drew the attention of law enforcement. It was reasonable to expect that my petition for naturalization could not be decided without close scrutiny of my history. A case such as mine called for representation by a law firm staffed by experienced immigration attorneys who are knowledgeable, hard-hitting, tough-as-nails, resourceful and unafraid of the ton of research and legal briefs necessary to be highly effective advocates.
I chanced upon an interview on the radio in 2017 or 2018 of a Lt Col (Rtd) Margaret Stock by an NPR correspondent. I picked up on the fact that the Colonel was also at one time, a West Point professor and an Immigration Attorney based out of Anchorage Alaska. She had spearheaded a program named MAVNI a few years before, during the Bush administration, to recruit legal non-immigrants possessing foreign language and/or medical skills into the military. Recruits were promised a fast track to citizenship at the end of their tours of duty. Attorney Stock was expressing dismay to the interviewer at efforts of the then administration to put obstacles in the path of deserving members of the military to get citizenship. My first impressions of Attorney Stock then was that she is a compassionate, principled person and a woman of great integrity who does not countenance injustice and is not afraid to speak up. I decided to look her up online and to seek representation. It took a few months for me to summon the nerve to call. But eventually I did.
Attorney Stock agreed to take on my case after a prequalification interview.
When fact finding commenced, no stone was left unturned over several months in completing the daunting task of meticulously assembling a mountain of supporting documentation - some decades old - which was to be submitted with my N-400 application. An immigration firm must of necessity possess considerable resources and reach in order to meet the challenges of such a burden. Cascadia Cross-Border Law is such a firm.
It was a disappointment when the N-400 petition was initially denied. However, why would I have retained counsel if I hadn’t considered this a distinct possibility? Attorney Stock and her very able associate Attorney Stearns took the denial in stride and wasted no time regrouping to strategize the best way forward. Attorney Stock assured me that all would be well eventually - that the setback could and would be overcome on legal grounds. With that, a masterfully crafted legal brief was prepared to launch an appeal at an N-336 hearing. The case was so impressively argued that the hearing USCIS officer would have had to be impervious to reason or willfully dismissive of the law to rule against us. Even though my admission for permanent residency decades prior was brought into question at the hearing, it was insufficient to overcome our robust argument in urging a reversal of the N-400 denial. Our case had merit and was rock solid. Weeks later, we learned that the denial had indeed been overturned . I was scheduled to take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony.
Against considerable odds, the very fine Attorneys and staff of Cascadia Cross-Border Law under the leadership of Attorney Stock, had successfully navigated treacherous waters and secured citizenship for a very , very grateful immigrant. I have since discovered that Attorney Stock is one of the nation’s foremost immigration experts and is frequently sought after as an expert witness by Congress.
Dear immigrant, if your case is hopeless, Cascadia Cross-Border Law possesses the integrity to tell it to you like it is, and suggest an alternate path. If there’s reason to be hopeful, and there’s a path forward despite difficult circumstances, you cannot do better than to retain Cascadia Cross-Border Law and the inimitable Attorney Margaret Stock to fight your fight.
I rest my case.
Response from Margaret Stock December 17, 2021
Thank you, Jonathan, for the detailed review. I am sure that your story will inspire others not to give up on their American Dream!