Number of Immigrant Businesses Should Rise in Wake of Executive Order

According to firm that provides loans to small businesses, the company currently has to turn away hundreds of applications each year because the applicants cannot comply with Small Business Administration (SBA) rules that require such loans only to go to individuals who have the legal status to work in this country.   According to many experts including Ramit Arora of Bix2Credit, New York City potentially could see a surge of hundreds or thousands of new small businesses run by owners with legal status once President Obama’s executive order is fully implemented.

Currently, immigrant-owned firms make up about half of all Main Street businesses in New York City, according to a recent report by the Fiscal Policy Institute and the Americas Society/Council of the Americas. The President’s executive order opens up a path to a legal status to an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants nationwide, mostly those with family here. It also facilitates highly skilled immigrants to open businesses and for students already here to become entrepreneurs.

“A lot of people have to wait to start their businesses,” said Mr. Arora. “They would contribute a lot to the U.S. economy.” He figures that 30% to 40% of borrowers served by his Manhattan-based company—which facilitated $400 million in loans last year—are immigrant-owned firms and expects these levels will rise considerably provided the immigration measures are not blocked.

The executive order includes an expansion of the somewhat ambiguous definition of a person of “national interest” who is therefore eligible for an entrepreneurs’ visa. Under the order, that could include people who provide investor funding or otherwise show the promise of job creation, said David Leopold, a past president of the Washington, D.C.-based American Immigration Lawyers Association. In addition, the  order extends to 17 months the time that people who recently received a STEM degree are allowed to stay in the country after graduation and allows spouses of people who are here on employment visas to work.

All of these measures in the aggregate will likely give many immigrants the chance to start more businesses in the New York area and beyond.

The Shulman Law Group endeavors to ensure its clients be kept abreast of all significant developments relating to the process of immigration to the United States, including the manner in which parallel legal proceedings may impact immigrants.. Edward Shulman, Esq, founder of The Shulman Law Group, LLC is a national speaker for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).  AILA is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, and to advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice.  In the course of Mr. Shulman’s involvement with AILA, he has been dedicated to educating other immigration attorneys about the import of helping intending immigrants to navigate a new cultural system. He meticulously follows all of the developments occurring in the battle over immigration reform so that he will be prepared to effectively assist his clients obtain residency if a new system is enacted.