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"These people are coming here for quality of life, and they deserve somebody to give them a chance to achieve that quality of life," said Brian Tuite, the bank's director of Latin America card operations and one of the architects of the program.
Typical of the new card's customers is Antonio Sanchez, a Mexican immigrant whose only major asset is a white, 1996 Ford Thunderbird, which he drives to the two restaurants where he works each day on opposite sides of Los Angeles. Sanchez, who says he sneaked across the border a decade ago, has been a customer of Bank of America's East Hollywood branch for nine years. He has no borrowing history and no Social Security number.
"I always wanted to start building credit to buy a home, but I couldn't," said Sanchez, a father of three children who earns about $25,000 a year from his two jobs. "When a senorita at the bank told me about this card, I couldn't miss the opportunity to get it. You need credit to succeed in this country."
Illegal immigrants have typically relied on loan sharks and neighborhood finance shops for credit. That has begun to change. A few years ago, a handful of community banks in the U.S. began offering mortgages to illegal immigrants, as long as they could prove they had stable employment and paid U.S. taxes with an individual tax identification number, or ITIN.
Bank of America defends immigrant card program
In his Thursday opinion piece, Lewis admitted it is not pleasant to be caught a century later in the "heated" national immigration debate, and that he was "feeling the passion."
Still, he pledged to continue the card program, which he said complies with the USA Patriot Act and other laws.
Lewis said illegal immigrants can obtain cards at many U.S. banks and businesses, and that Bank of America requires other identification to open accounts.
To assess an applicant, the bank employs "judgmental lending," a concept pioneered by MBNA Corp., the credit-card company that Bank of America acquired in January 2006. In essence, the bank bases its evaluation of a potential client's credit-worthiness on a subjective review by its employees, rather than on standardized financial data crunched by a computer
Originally posted by duckcheney
You have my sincere apology, Lecter, for the posting above. In looking over my comment I feel that I was harsh with you. This topic makes me see red but that is no excuse. I am sorry.
Originally posted by Rockpuck
Last i checked, Mrs. Gonzales having 8 kids and nothing to feed them is not my problem. NOR is it my country mens problem. It is Mexico's problem. I do not see Canada having problems and sneaking over the border. In fact, more AMERICANS migrated to Canada in the past 4 years. We have our own poor to deal with ok.. we don't need Mexico's poor waste seeping over the border when we cannot even help our own homeless, poor, inner city, everyday American education, we cannot even give proper health care to our OWN PEOPLE.... why the hell should a Mexican get it?
You have voted Rockpuck for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.
Originally posted by JacKatMtn
They stand behind their decision and will continue the program.
Boycott total as of post 12126 signatures and counting...