"Tax-number loans help immigrants buy homes"
Sounds good so far! Let's keep reading this Chicago Tribune story:
Several Chicago-area banks are leading rapid growth in a new, more flexible type of home loan that allows immigrants without Social Security numbers to secure a mortgage.
Hmmm... Why don't they have SSNs? That's curious...
Lenders have become more willing to use individual taxpayer identification numbers--issued by the Internal Revenue Service to allow undocumented workers and others without a Social Security card to pay federal taxes--to gauge the income history of a borrower.
Backers of such loans say the interest from the financial community is a response to the growing number of undocumented immigrants living, working and paying taxes in the United States.
Oh. They aren't "immigrants," they're illegal aliens.
So, who should we boycott?
...two large banks--Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp and Wayzata, Minn.-based TCF Financial Corp.--announced they would begin offering these loans in all of their markets...
Such loans are also getting backing from other entities such as the Milwaukee-based Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp., the nation's biggest provider of private mortgage insurance...
Mortgage Guaranty Insurance is testing a "Building a Life in America" program in Wisconsin, Chicago, and several cities in Texas along the Mexican border...
What about the part where they tug at your heart strings? Shouldn't that have been in the first paragraph? [Remember: it's not a PIIPP unless the victim appears in the first paragraph.] Oh well, better late than never:
For Maria Madrigal, the loans are a dream come true...
Could there ever be a downside to such a wonderful program? Well, apparently, [cue ominous music], some people don't want these poor immigrants to have homes:
Not everyone supports such programs, however.
Critics of such lending say it's wrong to make loans to people who are in this country illegally and subject to deportation if they're found.
Susan Tully, Midwest field director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, calls mortgages based on tax numbers a "ridiculous notion," noting that immigrants are being granted the same privileges as American citizens.
"It's ridiculous for financial institutions to look the other way on federal laws," she said. "Banks don't really know who they're dealing with. And what's hokey about the whole thing is that immigrants often use a variety of names and identifications, and they can be who they want to be."
While the debate continues...
Wait! Come back here! What debate? This article has 45 paragraphs. Poor Maria appears in paragraph 31. The cavils from FAIR begin in paragraph 36. Only four paragraphs are given to complaints about the program, and they're bracketed by paragraphs describing how wonderful it is.
I propose we all contact the Chicago Tribune's Public Editor and complain. Use either this form or contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org