Barrios & Virguez January 2018

JAN 2018



Before I found my way to law, I was on the baseball team in college with the goal of playing professionally. Then my brother went to law school, and I saw how he was able to help people. That made the decision clear for me. I became a lawyer to change the pattern of professionals who mistreat people. I wanted to be the antithesis of the lawyers I saw growing up — the ones we think of when we imagine a movie villain. I wanted to provide an alternative option, showing people they matter. Now Keren and I work together to bring to life our mission to treat your case as if it were our own. We’re here to bring you justice and fight for the rights of the most vulnerable members of our community.

What happens if you bring a case to us and we know we can’t help you? We’ll tell you. We’ll lay out your options. Then, we’ll try to connect you with someone who can. At the least, we’ll do our best to give you answers and provide you with hope.

“I wanted to be the antithesis of the lawyers I saw growing up — the ones we think of when we imagine a movie villain.”

You read the incredible story from my wife and law partner, Keren, in our TREATING YOUR CASE LIKE IT’S OURS My story, although nowhere close to Keren’s, is also about growing up as an immigrant in the United States. My family came to the U.S. from Venezuela when I was 5, and we knew nothing of the culture or people here. It was a hard transition. Immigrants are very vulnerable, and there were people who took advantage of that. I saw people get cheated for a variety of reasons, sometimes by professionals, and it frustrated me to witness. As I got older, I noticed some of the people taking advantage of our community were lawyers. They would take a case knowing there was no remedy, no way they could help the person. They knew they could get away with it because, chances were, the person wouldn’t know how to do anything about it. I wondered how these lawyers, supposedly upholding the law, could live with the guilt of taking advantage of vulnerable people. ability to persevere is a quality I deeply admire.

Our firm works with nonprofits in our community, and they are a resource we often refer people to. If someone who has been a resident for a long time comes into my office because they want to become a citizen, unless they have serious criminal issues that’ll complicate the process, we’ll refer them to a nonprofit. Rather than taking their money, we’ll find a better option. That’s how we would want to be treated, so doesn’t it make sense if that’s how we treat you? We see it a lot in our community. Because many of us are unsure of our rights, we feel more threatened by the law than aided by it. As lawyers who identify with our clients, we’re here to help you navigate this world. You matter, your rights matter, and we’ll fight for them together.

Until next time,

–Jorge Virguez

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Every parent wants to see their child do well in school, and there’s one fun activity that benefits students of all ages: reading. In a world with so much stimulation, however, it can be difficult to motivate kids to put down a screen and pick up a book. New Year’s resolutions are the perfect opportunity to make reading a priority. Here are a few tips to make 2018 the year your kids become bookworms. MAKE IT A FAMILY RESOLUTION There’s no better motivator than solidarity! Plus, we’re guessing everyone in your household could stand to read a little more. You don’t have to read the same books or set identical goals, but it’s a lot more fun when everyone participates. WANT TO SEE BETTER REPORT CARDS IN 2018? Make Reading a Family Resolution

Life is full of challenges, but it’s also filled with beautiful moments. Celebrations like weddings, graduations, and birthday parties are joyous occasions. For those of you who’ve gone through the naturalization process, you might add the day you got your citizenship to that list of the best occasions of your life. Now that you have your citizenship, you are eager to have your family join you in the U.S. If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you have the right and privilege to petition for your spouse, children, parents, and siblings. FAMILY PETITIONS AND SPONSORSHIP You must be over 21 to file for most petitions on a family member’s behalf. Depending on your family member’s situation, your petition may help them enter the U.S. more quickly than they would if they were filing on their own. Because your parents are considered an immediate relative, you can petition for a green card for them, and they will not have to wait for a visa number. For your children, the process is dependent on their age and marital status. If your child is under 21, they are also considered an immediate relative, and you can petition for a green card for them. That way, they also don’t have to wait for a visa number, making the process fairly quick. If your child is over 21 and unmarried, you can file a petition for them, but they will have to wait for a visa number. Currently, wait times vary depending on a person’s home country, but range from 10 to 15 years. Your married child of any age will also have to wait for a visa number, and wait times are also very long. You can file petitions for stepparents and stepchildren, too. For stepchildren, as long as you married your stepchild’s natural parent before the child was 18, you can sponsor them. There are resources available to help you complete the right petition. Contact our office to learn more. If you want to file a petition but are discouraged by the wait times for your parent or child, contact our office. We can discuss options with you. To start the process, there are some guidelines you should be aware of.

Schedule weekly reading discussions so everyone can share the cool stories they’ve read. Stack your completed books in your house somewhere as a monument to all the knowledge your family has gained. SET REWARD MILESTONES Positive reinforcement will propel your kids to keep reading long after the calendars have turned. For a certain number of books completed or hours

spent reading, offer them a prize. You can even create a big end goal to really cement those reading habits. Better yet, set a combined goal that the entire family can work toward. Don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops. If your kids know that reading one book per week through June means an extra-special summer vacation, their enthusiasm won’t wane come spring.

USE READING APPS Goodreads is a social network for bibliophiles. You can find

recommendations, share ratings, and create lists of both completed and to-be-read books. Users also create reading lists based on topic, genre, decade, and more. With over 2 billion books added, you’ll never run out of inspiration. Biblionasium offers the same services, but it’s designed specifically for children. Talk to other parents and create a network of friends and classmates. After all, nothing is cooler to a kid than what their friends are doing. Avid readers tend to do better academically from kindergarten through college. In fact, a study from the Journal of Education and Practice found that reading comprehension predicted success in other subjects more than any other factor. If you want to see improved report cards, make a reading resolution for your entire household. 2


Car accidents strike us or our loved ones when we least expect them. In 2011, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Safety estimated that over 1,200 people were killed in auto accidents. After such a traumatic event, it’s vital you understand both your responsibilities and your rights. When you’ve been involved in a crash, there are important steps you should take. GATHER INFORMATION It’s important you get the insurance, plate numbers, and contact information of all other parties involved in the accident. If there are witnesses at the scene, be sure to request their information as well. DON’T ADMIT FAULT Regardless of what happened, keep your emotions in check. Be courteous, but do not discuss details of the crash to anyone except police, insurance agents, or your personal attorney. CALL LAW ENFORCEMENT After an auto accident, the authorities are there to help. We understand people living in the state of Georgia without immigration documents may be hesitant to interact with law enforcement for fear of deportation. Please know you have a right to file a claim if you were injured by a negligent driver, regardless of your immigration status. If you or your family members do not feel comfortable interfacing with law enforcement, an experienced personal injury lawyer can act as an intermediary, gathering all requisite documents on your behalf.

SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION It is important you receive treatment for any pain or discomfort the accident may have caused. Be sure to keep a record of all doctor visits, therapy sessions, and prescriptions you receive over the course of your recovery. CALL AN ATTORNEY While not mandatory, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation for your injuries. This can help you and your loved ones afford accident-related medical expenses, lost wages, and psychiatric care. As a firm specializing in both immigration and personal injury law, we are uniquely equipped to answer any questions you may have about your right to seek compensation.



a. Daisy b. Snowdrop

a. Beginnings b. Resolutions c. Celebrations d. War

c. Morning Glory d. Honeysuckle



a. Washington’s Birthday b. Memorial Day c. Martin Luther King Jr. Day d. Columbus Day

a. Jan. 14 b. Jan. 7 c. Jan. 26 d. Jan. 30

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678.934.4958 INSIDE THIS ISSUE

4799 Sugarloaf Pkwy. Suite K. Lawrenceville, GA 30044

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Jorge’s Story

The Resolution That Leads to Better Grades

How Can I Bring My Family to the US?


What to Do After a Car Crash



A Better Class of Board Game


Bored of Monopoly, Scrabble, or Candy Land?

If you’ve ever played Monopoly with the whole family, you know high- tension classic board games can bring out the worst in people. Whether your sibling gloats after putting your most valuable property into mortgage or a tyke flips the board in a feverish rage, some of those old games can do more harm than good. But there are board games that won’t turn family fun time into a heap of tears and yelling. Here are a few modern hits that blow Parker Brothers’ basics out of the water: SETTLERS OF CATAN The perfect entry point for a more intricate world of board games, Settlers has become something of a cultural phenomenon in recent years. In the game, each of the four (or up to six with an inexpensive expansion) players represents a settler establishing colonies in a fictional new land, represented by a series of colored hexagonal tiles. Throughout the course of the game, you’ll take turns rolling dice in order to collect different types of resources, which you can then spend to build settlements, cities, and roads. It sounds and looks fairly complicated, but you and your family should be able to pick it up in a single round (which usually lasts an hour

or two). We can assure you, there’s a reason this game has sold over 22 million copies worldwide.

TICKET TO RIDE You don’t have to love trains to be obsessed with this country-spanning strategic adventure. Each player is tries to establish as many train lines between American cities as they can before the game ends. The system is deceptively simple, consisting mostly of matching colored cards to their corresponding train lines on the board, which makes it incredibly easy to learn. But the strategy involved ensures that each game is a completely different beast. Break out your tiny plastic trains and start your trek across the country! CARCASSONNE In this game, each of the two to five players takes turns flipping over tiles and playing them to develop the ancient town of Carcassonne. You can direct your workers to develop the fields, guard the roads, or inhabit the cities, and each activity earns you points. Every board ends up completely different as you place tiles and expand the playing area, which is what makes this game so endlessly enjoyable. 4

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