'Hispanics get affordable car loans'
The headline of this article sounds great! I'm all for everyone getting affordable car loans. But, let's read a bit further:
The first time Carlos Quezada bought a used car, he borrowed $8,000 and paid 30 percent interest on it over two years. The interest rate on his second used car wasn't much better - 29 percent.
Portland-area lending agencies told the Mexico City native that the high interest was necessary because he couldn't prove legal residence here and he didn't have a credit history.
"Lenders are afraid that someone without legal papers will leave the country, but I have my whole family here," said Quezada, 23.
Along came the Hacienda Community Credit Union, the first Hispanic credit union in Oregon.
Willing to look past a client's immigration status and focused on the financial needs of the Hispanic community, Hacienda refinanced Quezada's loan and offered him 10 percent interest - dropping his $200 monthly payment to $130...
Hispanics are the state's fastest-growing minority and a huge potential market for companies that tailor their businesses to them...
Financial institutions have adjusted to try to capture this market, recruiting Hispanic clients and often accepting nontraditional forms of identification, such as the "matricula consular," a card the Mexican embassy issues to its nationals.
...And most banks won't lend to illegal residents, forcing many Hispanics to use private credit agencies...
Its three staff members and its two volunteers are bilingual and of Hispanic origin. When evaluating a loan application, they look at who might be a flight risk and who has settled in the state, regardless of legal residence...
Quezada, for example, has lived in Portland for eight years and works at a pizza restaurant. He is married and has two children who were born in Portland...
That lower interest rate also is attractive to car dealers... [including] Mike Berryman, general manager for Weston Kia in Gresham, a Portland suburb... Berryman said he sends potential Hispanic car buyers directly to Hacienda.
...Fernando Velez, who works for the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.
"I find [high loan rates for illegal aliens] despicable," said Samuel Davila, executive director of the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs [a state agency].
[Hacienda executive director Yolanda Karp says] "But in the end, this will help people think twice before they give Hispanics 30 percent interest."
In other words, we aren't talking about all Hispanics here. We're just talking about those who can't prove legal residence. In other words, Hacienda is giving loans to illegal aliens, and the mentioned car dealership and state agencies think that's just peachy.
Apparently, the author (AP reporter Peter Prengaman) and the newspaper who published this "news" report think that as well. There are no dissenting voices in this one-step-up-from-a-press-release article. No one in the article clarifies that we're talking about just Hispanice illegal aliens, and not Hispanic-Americans. No one answers, for instance, the question of whether this will just encourage further illegal immigration, and whether that's a good thing. No one brings up whether giving loans to illegal aliens might be breaking a law or two.
Perhaps we should ask the car dealership, the two state agencies, Hacienda, the Stateman Journal, and AP straight out: do you support illegal immigration?
Here's the press release from the Oregon Division of Finance and Corporate Securities, which granted Hacienda their charter, and the email address is apparently DCBS.Director@state.or.us
AP's Portland News Editor is Terrence Petty, and his FAX is (503) 228-5514.
The email address for Yolanda Karp is firstname.lastname@example.org
The website for Weston Kia appears to be www.westonpontiac.com, with an email of email@example.com
Contact info for the Statesman Journal is here.
UPDATE: This article also appears in The Olympian newspaper under the title 'Credit union helps Latinos buy cars'. Apparently, each newspaper chooses their headlines for the story, and both newspapers couldn't come right out and say something like "Credit union helps illegal aliens buy cars." Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org