Javier Palomarez is the president and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The chamber represents 4.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States, which collectively contribute $668 billion to the national economy. “We represent 271 major corporations and work with a network of 200 local chambers and business associations nationwide,” he says, adding that the organization does not exclusively serve or work with Hispanics. “That’s not the way America is, so we had to broaden our perspective. Our board has representatives of the African-American community, the LGBTQ community, and we’re 50 percent women,” he says. “This is all about making America more competitive and growing our economy.”
As we stand, immigrant-owned businesses contribute more than $780 billion every year, and one of every 10 people is employed by a business that was founded by an immigrant.
And the way to do that, Palomarez says, is to embrace the diversity of our economy. “As we stand, immigrant-owned businesses contribute more than $780 billion every year, and one of every 10 people is employed by a business that was founded by an immigrant.”
Palomarez would like to see reform that offers a comprehensive, sustainable solution to the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. and that sets immigrant business owners up for success. “I want to see a focus on the positive economic ramifications immigration has,” he says. “I want to see a clear understanding of the commercial ramifications and implications of a broken immigration system. I’m not looking for quick fixes. We need to harness the power of the immigrant imagination and ingenuity for the betterment of this country.”