Drawing upon nearly two decades of relevant experience, Christopher Stender is an attorney at Federal Immigration Counselors in Phoenix, Arizona, where he has achieved numerous published Board of Immigration and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decisions. Supplementing his work in this field, Christopher Stender is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
Now in its 11th year, the AILA Military Assistance Program (MAP) provides pro bono legal counsel and invaluable resources to men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces. The program was founded in 2008 as part of a joint effort with the Legal Assistance Offices (LAO) of the US military's Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps. While these LAOs already provided similar services to active-duty members of the military, JAG attorneys, at the time, were being overwhelmed with intricate legal queries pertaining to immigration.
Service members can request assistance from MAP attorneys by emailing the AILA's Practice and Professionalism Center at firstname.lastname@example.org. Because of the volume of requests the Center receives, it can take up to three months to pair interested members with an attorney.
While legal fees are covered, the individual being represented may have to pay upwards of $250 in administrative fees to cover the cost of postage, software, translations, or travel expenses. In addition to active-duty members, the AILA MAP will also work with former military members who have been out for less than two years.