AILA Public Statements

Morgan Lewis Establishes Military Immigration Fellowship with Support of AILA and American Immigration Council

7/10/23 AILA Doc. No. 23071004. Family Immigration, Naturalization & Citizenship


Emily Carhart
Morgan Lewis
Senior Director of Public Relations & Communications

Natalie Gewargis
Morgan Lewis
Public Relations Manager

George Paul Tzamaras
Senior Director of Communications

WASHINGTON, DC, July 10, 2023: Morgan Lewis is funding a two-year, full-time legal fellowship with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council (Council) to help guide hundreds of noncitizen soldiers and veterans through the naturalization process. The funding is a further salute to the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) soldiers and veterans on behalf of whom Morgan Lewis secured the right to lawful US citizenship through litigation against the US government.

The noncitizen US Army soldiers and veterans who will be counseled through the fellowship were members of three federal class actions Morgan Lewis led against the US Department of Defense, US Army, and US Citizenship & Immigration Services following their delay and denial of citizenship promised to the MAVNI enlistees in exchange for the vital language or medical skills they brought to the country’s armed forces. With more than 15,000 hours of pro bono counsel dedicated to these class actions, the firm’s successful representation of thousands of MAVNI program members has already resulted in key government policy changes and the naturalization of more than 2,000 class members. Now, through this fellowship, the firm builds in further assurance that the remaining class members will face no further obstacles on their path to naturalization.

“We are honored to continue to serve these US soldiers and veterans through the establishment of the Morgan Lewis Military Immigration Fellowship and to see that the promise of citizenship provided in exchange for their loyalty to the United States is fulfilled,” said Firm Chair Jami McKeon.

Joanna Kloet will serve as the immigration fellow. Joanna was chosen to fulfill the fellowship based on her years of practicing immigration law, including in private practice, as an attorney advisor for the Executive Office for Immigration Review in the Tenth Circuit, and as a supervising attorney in the immigration law clinic at Michigan State University College of Law. Joanna graduated summa cum laude from Michigan State University College of Law as a King Scholar.

“AILA’s Military Assistance Program (MAP) has long assisted military service members and their loved ones in navigating our complex labyrinth of immigration laws. With AILA member and retired Lieutenant Colonel Margaret Stock’s leadership and experience, MAP has assisted more than 3,500 service members since the program began in 2007. Morgan Lewis’s generosity in creating the Military Immigration Fellowship and Margaret Stock’s vital mentorship will allow AILA and the Council to expand legal support to those who bravely serve our country,” said AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson.

Joanna will work with AILA and the Council in partnership with Margaret Stock, a leader in military immigration law who created the MAVNI program while serving in the Army and later served as an invaluable resource to our MAVNI litigation team, to advise class members as they navigate the naturalization process. The support is expected to include assistance with completing and submitting applications, preparing class members for naturalization interviews, and representing them during the interviews. Additionally, Joanna will provide support to service members and recent veterans seeking assistance through AILA’s Military Assistance Program and with other immigration-related litigation efforts.

About Us

Morgan Lewis is recognized for exceptional client service, legal innovation, and commitment to its communities. Our global depth reaches across North America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East with the collaboration of more than 2,200 lawyers and specialists who provide elite legal services across industry sectors for multinational corporations to startups around the world. For more information about us, please visit and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and WeChat.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is the national association of more than 16,000 attorneys, paralegals, law professors, and law students who practice and teach immigration law. AILA member attorneys represent U.S. families seeking permanent residence for close family members, U.S. businesses seeking talent from the global marketplace, as well as foreign students, entertainers, athletes, and asylum seekers. Founded in 1946, AILA is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that provides continuing legal education, information, professional services, and expertise through its 39 chapters and over 50 national committees.