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Immigration helped the United States become what it is today: a cultural diverse, capitalist society. Within this structure, entrepreneurship can flourish and stimulate the economy. Immigrant neighborhoods are filled with small businesses run by immigrant entrepreneurs. Andres Mejer Law is just one of the Hispanic owned business in Long Branch or Lakewood, NJ. We entrepreneurs generate local economic activity through employment opportunities and providing goods and services. Some communities owe their success to the entrepreneurial efforts of immigrants. Opening a business is challenging by nature, whether the entrepreneur is an immigrant or not. Although I graduated from law school and practiced law for many years, when I opened my law practice I didn’t know anything about running a business. I have spent most of my life in the U.S., but other immigrants encounter more challenges than I did. Language and cultural differences create barriers to communication. Socioeconomic conditions may make it difficult to financially or safely support the new business. Language barrier may make it difficult to understand local regulations, licensing and permitting. With experienced assistance, immigrant entrepreneurs can overcome these barriers to the benefit of their families and communities. Of course, capital is crucial, but business knowledge and skills is also critical. When I opened my office, I enrolled in Brookdale Community College’s Entrepreneurial Training Program. I didn’t know anything about marketing, managing a staff, balancing a trust account, or invoicing my clients. Because I have worked all of my life, I had a lot of experience to draw on as a manager, trainer, and attorney. But none of that helped me, with the day to day administrative tasks that every business has. I recommend that any Immigrant entrepreneur enroll in courses like Brookdale’s. The road to small business ownership may be difficult for an immigrant; however, the benefits make the journey worth it. I love what I do. I get to help people every day with their immigration challenges. Almost all of my clients are immigrants, and I see the difference I can make in their lives. Today I am a U.S. citizen, as challenging as it was for me it is even more so for undocumented immigrants to build a business. It is much harder for them without access to capital and business resources. Some rely on partners who have legal status, who charge them exorbitant fees just to use their name. Providing these undocumented immigrants legal status in the U.S. will push our economy into overdrive. The Small Business Administration commissioned a report by an economics researcher. Data from the report suggests that immigrants are overrepresented among America’s entrepreneurs. The business ownership rate for immigrants is higher than the native-born Americans. Imagine what the data would show if the undocumented immigrants came out of the shadows and got legal status?
Free Resources Available for You
If you face immigration an immigration challenge we have some valuable resources for you:
An Immigrant’s Guide to Municipal CourtHere I discuss what happens if you get arrested by Immigration Customs Enforcement, what you need to know to get out of custody, and what to expect if you are placed in removal hearings. I also explain the municipal court process and how a municipal court matter can result in your being placed into removal proceedings.
If you have immigration questions, we have answers. You can
Call our knowledgeable staff at 888-695-6169;
Fill out our contact us form on this page; or
Select our live chat feature to speak to someone right away.