The City of Los Angeles recently announced a new public-private partnership called "Bank on Los Angeles" (bankonla.com) that's designed to help 10,000 low-income residents who don't have bank accounts ("the unbanked") open up accounts. It's also open to illegal aliens , and that means that Los Angeles City will be encouraging corruption by helping major banks profit from money that was earned illegally. And, once banks find a profit center they tend to use their influence to make sure the money keeps flowing. Those banks are going to fight against efforts to deport their customers and might even take efforts to encourage more "customers" to come here.
Some of those involved in this crooked scheme are two large foundations: Pew and Annenberg. Perhaps someone familiar with the relevant laws could be encouraged to look into whether they're violating their charters or if there's some other form of action that could be taken.
For Alexandra Zavis of the Los Angeles Times offering a press release disguised as a news story and completely failing to follow the money, see "New program encourages low-income L.A. residents to open bank accounts" (link). The new program is being promoted by L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a strong supporter of illegal immigration.
 Their sign-up instructions include this: You don't need a Social Security number, but you will need a passport, California ID, Mexican Matricula card, or Consular identification card from your home country. And most banks will request a second form of ID, not including cell phone bills. Having a Matricula Consular card isn't proof that someone is an illegal alien, but it's a very strong indication since they aren't of much use to U.S. citizens or legal immigrants.
 The banks are (bankonla.com/partners/index.htm): Wells Fargo/Wachovia, US Bank, Cathay Bank, Broadway Federal Bank, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Citibank, City National Bank, E1 Federal Credit Union, JPMorgan Chase/WAMU, Kinecta Federal Credit Union, and Union Bank of California.
 "Financial Contributors" (bankonla.com/FINANCIALCONTRIBUTORS) include some of the banks above as well as The Annenberg Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In December 2008, Matt Fellowes of the Safe Banking Opportunities Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts did a presentation called "Bank on LA: Assessing the Market Opportunity" (pewtrusts.org/news_room_detail.aspx?id=47532).
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is behind the initial program of this type linked above.
Wed, 03/25/2009 - 21:21 · Importance: 9