This year’s SA-to-DC trip is underway this week, with representatives from San Antonio chambers of commerce joining together with city leaders to advocate for issues important to the community.
The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce has been making this trip for 35 years as a way to represent the whole community before Congress and military leadership.
Of ten committees, the Hispanic Chamber is most interested in making contacts for small business, immigration and trade. President Ramiro Cavazos said there are many good arguments for comprehensive immigration reform:
"We have a shortage of workers already in this country, and even non-Hispanic students that are here -- we want them to stay here on work visas. We don’t want to send them back as soon as they finish graduate school to then go back to China and compete against us," Cavazos said.
Cavazos cites studies that show Hispanics make up 16 percent of the population but receive only 12 percent of the benefits. He said the argument that immigrants take advantage of entitlement benefits falls short of the whole picture.
"They’re probably working and they’re paying into Social Security but they’re never going to see the benefits of Social Security or other incentives," he said.
Cavazos said they'll also advocate to free up small business capital through credit unions, which he says historically have been shut out of SBA guarantees.
The chambers also are advocating for:
- Cyber security
- Hospitality & tourism