Undocumented entrepreneur works to overcome business ownership hurdles | Cronkite News

Undocumented entrepreneur works to overcome business ownership hurdles | Cronkite News


Lorenzo Santillan is used to being in the public eye for being undocumented. Santillan was one of the four students who won in 2004 a national underwater robotics competition that was later made into a Hollywood movie called “Spare Parts.” Now he wants to be known as the owner of “Ni De Aqui, Ni De Alla” so he can knock down stereotypes about undocumented entrepreneurs. Lorenzo Santillan owns a catering business and wants to eventually open a restaurant. He faces different challenges from the average entrepreneur. Santillan is undocumented and his legal status has transcended into catering business name called “Ni De Aqui, Ni De Alla,” It means neither here nor there it means for me like I’m not accepted here as and the United States and I’m not for Mexico because I wasn’t right there. Santillan who is in Arizona under DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is able to get a business license and other documents to allow him to run a business. Although we have federal laws that make it technically illegal to own an established business like Barrio Café or something like that and and it makes technically illegal to hire someone who is undocumented and unauthorized to work in the United States you can own a business. Garcia says Santillan has the advantage of name recognition, a strong economy and the growing Hispanic community but he still faces difficulties. He’s entering a kind of saturated market. These days the idea of food trucks, coming up with a unique idea special idea is a challenge more and more because so many people are doing it. Although having a business is doable for undocumented entrepreneurs funding is difficult to acquire especially the government grants. Even going to the bank I barely started building credit and I don’t have the experience that I would need to get a bank loan either. Santillan wanted to be self-employed to follow his dream but to also have something to rely on. Being an owner being undocumented but also I see it as a way to be self-employed and not worry about having to be employed under anybody. Undocumented business owners seeking guidance can contact their organization Fuerza Local for business training in Spanish or if you’re bilingual the Arizona Chamber of Hispanic Commerce has information too. In the broadcast center Nicole Gutierrez, Cronkite News.

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