White House Director of Media Affairs Speaks at DSA Board Meeting: Acknowledges Entrepreneurialism and Legal Immigration

March 29, 2017

Ms. Helen Aguirre Ferré, Special Assistant to the President, White House Director of Media Affairs, and respected journalist, joined DSA at the Association’s March 28 Board meeting to share insights into the Administration’s policies on government regulation, economic growth, and job creation.

Acknowledging the innovative spirit and profound impact on consumers of direct selling companies, Ferré reinforced how the Administration intends to collaborate with representatives from the private sector to tackle burdensome regulation and create the platforms necessary for entrepreneurs and small-business owners to succeed.

DSA research shows that approximately 20 percent of those involved in direct selling in the United States are Hispanic. DSA Executive Vice President Adolfo Franco asked Ferré to touch on some of the President’s policies affecting immigrant communities in the United States, particularly the Hispanic workforce.

“The Hispanic community is the American community,” said Ferré. “I don’t separate English and Spanish media; I bring everyone to the table to learn from each other. And there is Hispanic representation at every roundtable the President has. We had a group of women small-business owners meet with the director of the Small Business Administration, the President, and the Vice President. Of that group, about a quarter was Hispanic. That speaks to the dream of the Hispanic community and their entrepreneurial spirit.”

The session was opened up for questions. With direct selling seen as the essence of the American dream, providing immigrant distributors and those from impoverished or under-served areas with the opportunity to earn supplemental income to provide for their families, questions were asked regarding government discussions and announcements on immigration and policy changes that could have an impact on direct selling.

Ferré responded that the Administration is not anti-immigration, but pro legal-immigration, concerned with modernizing immigration and making it relevant to today and to today’s communities and business and their needs. “In general, when we look at education, when we look at healthcare, when we look at job growth, these are all issues that affect all families. If it’s good for a Hispanic family, it’s good for all families, and vice-versa,” she said.

Ferré stressed that immigration law is the ‘same today as it was a year ago.’ “We are looking to work with Congress on immigration reform, and also with communities and businesses to provide assurances that we are here to help, not to hinder.”

DSA President Joe Mariano requested the Administration issue a statement of support for entrepreneurship and the direct selling business model and to recognize that the channel encourages all communities, including immigrant communities, to engage in direct selling. DSA will host a workshop at Annual Meeting in June in Orlando focusing on supporting diversity in direct selling.

For more on DSA’s 2017 Annual Meeting, visit http://annualmeeting.dsa.org/. For more on the Association’s government relations agenda and how you can become involved, contact DSA’s Attorney and Government Relations Manager Brian Bennett at bbennett@dsa.org

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