Barrios & Virguez Dec. 2017

DEC 2017



In law school, I was still set on becoming a prosecutor. I did an internship with a district attorney’s office, and it was another turning point. Instead of seeing lawyers fighting for the voiceless, I saw plea deals exchanged. As a victim of a crime, it was hard to comprehend helping a person who had hurt someone else. I lost a sense of justice witnessing these deals. After the internship, I realized immigration law was my calling. It was a way I could empower the most vulnerable. I would be there to represent them fairly and, hopefully, influence the outcome of any legal decision to change their lives for the better. I met Jorge in law school, and he’s been another life-changing part of my journey. Up to that point, I hadn’t realized I was still healing from the trauma I’d faced as a 10-year-old. Jorge encouraged me to talk with a professional counselor, and that helped me face and overcome a lot of my fears. It’s been a long process of healing, but I feel grateful that it has led me to my husband and to a career that I’m passionate about. This year, Jorge and I are evaluating ways to help more people in our community. Recently, after a minor car accident, I went through physical therapy. It was frustrating to work through it. When you’re an immigrant, I know it can feel even more frustrating and intimidating. Scary, even. In the last year, we’ve realized that a lot of people, especially immigrants, don’t know all of their rights. And we are working to change that by educating our community for free via workshops, radio shows, newspapers and social media. We even host a weekly Facebook Live where viewers can ask questions. In addition to immigration law, we’ve also added personal injury law to our practice, because we see it as a way to give back. We understand both sides. If you need guidance, whether it’s an immigration or personal injury matter, we can offer it. We are highly experienced in both practice areas, and we would love to be your voice. We want you to know there’s always hope, and all you have to do is place your trust in the right hands. You matter to us, you have rights, and we’ll fight for them together.

When we started our practice in 2013, my husband, Jorge, and I knew we wanted to focus on serving immigrants in our community. We’re immigrants ourselves, and it helps us understand what people go through to become a part of this nation. Immigration law has the power to change someone’s life, and I’ve seen both sides of it. I’m from Guatemala, and as a kid, my family owned a successful business, so we were well off. We drove nice cars and enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle. Unfortunately, this success also made us the target of kidnapping. When I was 10 years old, I was kidnapped and held for ransom for 13 days. Against all odds, I became one of the few children rescued alive. It was a miracle that the police were able to locate and save me. After the kidnapping, we moved to the United States, but I had to go back to court in Guatemala so my case could be tried. It was a defining moment in my life. I experienced the scariest time of my life that year, and it helped define to a great extent who I am today. Can you imagine a 10-year-old kid trying to explain to a court what they’d faced when they were kidnapped? The prosecutor for my case became my voice. When I was weak and vulnerable, he defended and fought for me. His dedication had a huge impact on me. I was amazed that an attorney had the power to impact someone’s future. I decided I was going to law school so I could be a voice for people who were fragile and defenseless. THE SCARIEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE Led Me to My Passion

We look forward to sharing our knowledge and getting to know you through this newsletter every month. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.

Merry Christmas, and until next time,

–Keren Barrios

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“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse.” –Walt Disney The legacy of Walter Elias “Walt” Disney is known across the world. Just the name “Disney” conjures up images of magical animated films, grand theme parks, and massively diverse entertainment. What better time to salute this incredible cartoonist and storyteller than December — Disney’s birthday month? Disney’s first job in cartooning was an apprenticeship with Pesmen-Rubin Commercial Art Studio in Kansas City at the age of 18. There, he met fellow artist Ub Iwerks, and the two struck up a lifelong friendship. Together, they created a series of cartoons based on “Alice in Wonderland” and worked with film producer Charles Mintz to distribute the cartoons. THIS MONTH IN HISTORY The Magical World of Walt Disney

2017 brought many changes within our government. In early September, President Trump rescinded DACA. Now, we are left wondering where DACA recipients stand. YOUR OPTIONS WITHOUT DACA 1. As of September 2017, no more DACA applications are allowed to go forward. If you were in the process of applying for DACA, your application will not move forward. No more renewals will be accepted, either. 2. The government is no longer letting people leave the United States on advance parole. This means if you applied for advance parole in August to help your sick family member in your home country, your application is no longer recognized. However, if you were outside of the country on advance parole before September 5, 2017, the U.S. government will recognize that and allow you back into the country. 3. Because we can no longer renew DACA, it’s time to look at other options. If you are marrying or are married to a U.S. citizen, you may be able to apply for a family petition. This is something we can help you with, so please reach out to us to file a family petition. While the president has rescinded DACA, it’s now in Congress’s hands to put something in place that will be more permanent. We’re still not sure what that will look like, but we will keep you updated as we find out more. There are a lot of questions for the coming year, and we’ll see the ramifications throughout 2018. We know it’s a scary and uncertain time when you’re an immigrant. If you’re looking for more information, we post updates on our Facebook page and our website. We also shared a Facebook Live video to explain more about DACA, which you can watch here: Here are three important things to know about the president’s decision for DACA.

You might be surprised to learn Disney’s first successful original creation wasn’t a certain mouse — it was a rabbit. The venturesome Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was a great hit, but Mintz sold the intellectual property rights of Oswald to Universal Pictures. After a falling out, Disney swore he’d never let someone else own his work ever again.

From this defeat, Disney and Iwerks created one of the world’s most enduring characters, Mickey Mouse. With this new character, Disney created the short “Steamboat Willie,” which debuted in 1928 as the first cartoon to feature sound. Mickey Mouse and “Steamboat Willie” signaled the beginning of Disney pushing the envelope with animation. In 1934, he began to work on the world’s first feature-length animated movie, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.” His experiment would become the biggest movie of 1938 and the highest grossing sound film at that time. In addition to many other groundbreaking animated movies, Disney also ventured into live-action films and TV shows, and he even fulfilled a lifelong dream: opening his own theme park. Today, almost 150 million people visit Disney Parks all over the world every year. By the time he died in 1966, Disney had been involved in 81 feature films, won a record number of Academy Awards, and left the world with a legacy of magic and creativity that will never be forgotten.

If you have any other questions, feel free to call our bilingual office at (678) 934-4958. 2


Not very long ago, a woman came into our office. She didn’t have a driver’s license, but she did have a limp and a lot of pain. When I asked her what happened, she said another woman had run a red light and hit her. She told me it happened four days ago. She had not sought legal help at first because she was scared of how it might affect her immigration status. For me, that was a big lesson. As an immigrant myself, I try to empathize with clients, but as a lawyer, I sometimes forget that you might not know it’s your right to seek justice when you are injured, and most importantly, that a personal injury case will not affect your immigration status. Immigration is federal law, and personal injury is civil law. Because of this, immigration law functions on a national level, and personal injury cases are on a state level, so it’s okay to bring a personal injury claim to a lawyer, even if you’re not in the country legally. If you don’t have a Social Security card, the attorney’s office will give you a tax ID to use for your case.

I let our client know that we could work with the insurance company to get her the compensation she deserved. She ended up having a hip fracture she wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Can you imagine having a severe injury and not knowing about it, and just thinking you had to suffer? When we took her case to court, she received a big settlement from the insurance company, and she was amazed. That’s why we’re here — to help you learn and fight for your rights. You don’t deserve to be in pain just because you don’t have a license.

If you’ve been injured, I want you to know two things. First, don’t be scared to seek help. Second, you still have rights.

I know it’s hard to listen to that, or to just stop being fearful. That’s why we’re here to talk. As lawyers specializing in immigration law and personal injury, my husband and I know both sides.



a. Eggnog b. Chai tea c. Baileys d. Strawberry milk

a. Louisiana b. Florida c. Alaska d. Manhattan



a. Idaho b. Georgia c. Oklahoma d. Hawaii

a. Istanbul b. Spain c. Germany d. Brazil

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678.934.4958 INSIDE THIS ISSUE

4799 Sugarloaf Pkwy. Suite K. Lawrenceville, GA 30044

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Why I Became a Lawyer

This Month in History

DACA Rescinded in 2017: Now What?


Tell Us About Your Injury



Where’s Santa?


First, there’s the Google Santa Tracker (, a full- fledged holiday hub for your browser powered by Google Maps, including, of course, an up-to-the-minute GPS tracker for the big man. The application arrived in 2004, and it’s been updated every year since. During the countdown to Christmas, there’s a colorfully animated advent calendar of sorts, where buildings around Santa’s village “thaw out” and reveal a host of fun games and activities. There’s even a section titled “Santa Tracker for Educators,” which includes kid-friendly coding games, information on international holiday traditions, and a translation app to “learn the Santa lingo from around the world.” Of course, Google’s not the only kid on the Santa-tracking block. There’s also NORAD Tracks Santa, operated by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the same organization that tracks nuclear missiles for the government. Similar to Google, includes a variety of fun games and activities leading up to Christmas. But unlike Google, NORAD has a dedicated Santa-tracking app for your phone, where you can see a 3-D view of Santa’s location during his trip. The app also features videos, so you and your little ones can see clips of Santa flying around major landmarks and world cities. Just don’t stay up too late watching them. You don’t want Santa to skip over your house!

It’s almost Christmas, and if you have small kids, you know what that means: prepping for the arrival of a jolly man in a red suit and his confusingly named reindeer. These days, kiddos have gotten a little more high-tech in their search for up-to-date, GPS-driven Kringle updates. 4

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