206 | The Business of Immigration: Family migration to U.S. under threat


The federal government’s efforts to curb family migration to America is a key concern for many foreign-born residents in the U.S. and their children, including the Indian American community, which has used the method over the past 50 years to grow into an economic powerhouse of business owners, including their domination of the hotel industry.

In this episode, Judy Maxwell, co-host of Lodging Leaders, takes a look at immigration trends in the U.S. and proposed changes to federal law that would dramatically alter the way legal immigrants have been able to bring members of their families to America and to build businesses.

You’ll hear from …

  • Suraj Patel, a political activist and the son of a hotelier
  • Jyoti Sarolia, an active AAHOA member and a third-generation hotelier who founded a company that pays homage to her family’s immigration history
  • Andrew Lim of New American Economy, which tracks immigrants’ contributions to the U.S. economy and business landscape
  • Chris Mumford from Aethos Consulting Group on the impact of immigrants in the workforce.

We also take a look at …

  • Current immigration trends and regulatory initiatives championed by President Trump to decrease the flow of migrants to America.
  • Immigration-reform proposals introduced to Congress over the past two years.
  • And, we ask AAHOA where it stands in the debate over immigration reform.

Resources & Links

  • 311 | Shelters From the Norm: Hotels used for hospitals and housing face unexpected problems

    A year ago, Darshan Patel, CEO of Hotel Investment Group in San Diego, California, was one of the first hoteliers in the U.S. to step up and offer properties to overwhelmed hospitals seeking places to care for COVID and non-COVID patients as well as vulnerable populations. As the crisis eases and Hotel Investment Group works to return the hotels to business, Patel is negotiating with local governments to pay for the wear and tear on the properties. Patel is not alone as many hoteliers are unexpectedly dealing with problems that state and local governments’ urgent decisions have created, including property damage, increased costs and eviction bans. This report is the second in a two-part series examining the pros and cons of opening hotels to alternative uses during the pandemic. It is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.

  • 310 | Hotels Convert to Housing: Federal COVID-19-relief funds fuel transactions

    Dhruv Patel, president of Ridgemont Hospitality, in October shared a bittersweet moment with his parents, Pravin and Sima Patel, when the family business sold the first motel that Pravin had built from the ground up more than 30 years ago. But they rest assured knowing it was the right decision because the 22-room property is being converted into affordable housing for military veterans at risk of homelessness. The transaction is among hundreds taking place across the U.S. as state and local governments work with non-profit agencies to create affordable housing solutions for vulnerable populations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In Episode 310 Long Live Lodging reports on the financial and legal aspects of what it takes to convert a hotel into long-term housing. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.

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