Archives for December 2015

4 Tips for Safe Holiday Travel

According to AAA, holiday season travel is expected to break records this year. AAA is forecasting that nearly one in three Americans will take a trip by vehicle. This means that for the first time, the number of holiday travelers expected to travel 50 miles or more from home may top 100 million. With so many individuals and families on the road, we wanted to share a few travel tips from Brownstein & Nguyen.

Number One: Vehicle Check UpBrownstein & Nguyen (1)

It is always a good idea to follow the dealer recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle. However, if you are traveling farther than usual, spend a little extra time checking your vehicle before the trip. This includes making sure the tires are properly inflated and that all fluids have been topped off. Additionally, it is a good opportunity to make sure there are not any current recalls on your vehicle.

Number Two: Plan Enough Time for Travel

If you are traveling by air or over the roads, make sure that you give yourself plenty of time. Living in metro Atlanta often means dealing with traffic slow downs and delays.

Number Three: Use Navigation Apps

Using your vehicle’s GPS system is helpful when traveling by car. You’ll be able to avoid congested areas and alternate routes are often suggested by in car systems. Additionally, take a look at the following apps for getting you to your destination in a safe and timely manner:


The Waze app is available on android and Apple devices. This is a community based app in which other drivers update accident and traffic alerts in real time.

Google Maps

If you do not have an in-car navigation system, Google Maps will do the job for you. Plug your phone into the audio system of your vehicle and you’ll be as good as any other driver on the road with GPS.

Number Four: Prepare for An Emergency

You never know what type of weather you’ll run into, or if your car will have a failure. It is a great idea to make sure that you have an emergency kit in your car. This should include safety flares or reflective devices to alert other drivers on the road. It should also include water to prevent dehydration should you be waiting for a long period of time. A warm blanket is ideal to keep in the vehicle as is a first aid kit.

At Brownstein & Nguyen we wish you safe travels as you spend time on the roads this holiday season. 

EB-5 Debate Continues

With concerns over fraud and poor oversight, the debate over EB-5 visas has prompted Congress to respond with a draft to renew current EB-5 legislation that is set to expire on December 11, 2015. This concern is related to the many high-end real estate projects in larger cities that have benefited with job creation from the program for the past several years. Meanwhile, smaller projects in more rural areas or impoverished areas may have been crowded out of the program because of the limited number of green cards available each year to foreign investors.Construction

Proposed Changes

With this draft, which is co-sponsored by Senators Charles Grassley and Patrick Leahy, proposed changes to EB-5 program seek to prevent future program abuses from occurring. It’s expected that these changes will increase opportunities for investors with smaller projects to qualify for EB-5 visas.

Included in the draft legislation:

  • The number of green cards for lower level projects would increase from 3,000 to 4,000 out of the 10,000 EB-5 visas available.
  • Projects, including government infrastructure or manufacturing would be placed in their own categories that will qualify them for a lower fundraising level, along with those in designated federal economic development zones.
  • Fundraising levels would rise from $500k to $800k for lower level projects and from $1 million to $1.2 million for larger projects.
  • To qualify for high unemployment area benefits, the location of the project would need to take place or next to a census tract that has an unemployment rate of that is equal or more than 150% of the national average.
  • Projects located in areas where the poverty rate is 20% or higher will qualify for additional consideration with other federal economic development programs.

Don’t struggle with the EB-5 process alone. Contact the immigration law experts at Brownstein & Nguyen.

Common Myths Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease

DisagreementWhile National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month has come and gone, it is important to consider that Alzheimer’s affects almost 1 person per every 2 families. Even though the disease is so widespread, most people don’t know the facts about Alzheimer’s and how it can affect you and your elderly family members.

Myth 1: Memory Loss is Part of a Normal Aging Process

One of the myths that most people hold is that memory loss is part of a normal aging process. This is factually and medically wrong. Alzheimer’s follows a 14 year progression from the onset of initial signs until death. However, most people are diagnosed with the disease at a very late stage. This is because many elderly are afraid of being stigmatized and choose to keep quiet until memory loss severely affects their daily lives.

Myth 2: Alzheimer’s Cannot be Treated

Another common myth is that Alzheimer’s cannot be treated. While it is true that there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, that does not mean there is no treatment available. There are modern and conventional medical treatments that can be effective in combating the disease. Generally, early treatment is necessary to prevent further brain damage and deterioration. Most people believe that any treatment short of cure is not an effective method. However, many suffering from this condition can lead a quality life with early diagnosis and proper treatment.

An important thing to remember is that a healthy heart and body is equal to a healthy brain. Many physicians have agreed that the brain is closely related to the heart. This explains why individuals with high blood pressure, cholesterol and obesity risk experiencing cognitive decline.

It is important to be aware of the legal rights of the elderly when it comes to elder care. If you or a loved one are dealing with issues due to memory or other long-term care associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and long-term care, contact Brownstein & Nguyen for legal support.

Immigration and Holiday Traditions

With the arrival of the holiday season, many people are gathering with family and friends to celebrate the holidays. One thing about living in the United States – there is no one single way to celebrate a holiday. Many families integrate different customs that have roots in their native countries as they celebrate the holidays. Since the pilgrims first arrived and countless others emigrated to this country from around the world, there has always been a connection between immigration and holiday traditions.

Origins of Thanksgiving

To celebrate their first successful corn harvest, the Pilgrims held a feast to celebrate with their Native American friends. This feast became known as the first Thanksgiving in America. However, the origin of celebrating a successful harvest has roots in ancient civilizations, such as those of the Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians who often paid tribute to their deities. The concept of Thanksgiving also bears a striking resemblance to the Jewish harvest festival known as Sukkot.

Origins of Christmas TraditionsImmigration

Up until the 19th century, Christmas was not really celebrated in the United States because the holiday had been outlawed by the pilgrims. However, the holiday’s popularity grew with an influx of German immigrants during the 1800s. While Christmas is known as a Christian holiday, many of the customs celebrated today come from pagan roots that originated in Germany. The holiday was originally intended to celebrate the winter solstice. Customs such as Christmas trees, caroling, exchanging gifts, gingerbread houses and good old Saint Nick are a result of German influence.

When it comes to family immigration, contact the Atlanta immigration law offices of Brownstein & Nguyen for assistance. While celebrating the holidays this year, think about how immigration and holiday traditions have an impact on how you celebrate. It is a great way to honor your heritage.