Silverio Lopez and his son Antonio run their Tequila Cabresto brand out of their house in Southwest Detroit. They say about 60 restaurants in and around the city carry their brand of small batch, craft tequila. They also own a rim and tire shop just down the street. In total, they employ close to 10 people.
Silverio emigrated from Mexico in the early '80s. He says there were many reasons for settling down and starting a business in Detroit.
“The properties were cheap, the rent was cheaper, plus we had family here already,” he said through Antonio, who translated from Spanish.
The Lopez family exemplifies the kind of people Gov. Rick Snyder hopes to attract to Michigan – people with an entrepreneurial spirit who can create jobs.
But some critics of the governor’s new EB-5 visa program say it’s a slap in the face to immigrants like Silverio Lopez, who came here with nothing.