Bank of "America": credit cards for illegal aliens
Bank of America is currently offering credit cards to residents of Los Angeles County who only have ITIN numbers and who don't have either a social security number or a credit history. That strongly implies that those credit recipients are illegal aliens. Later this year the bank hopes to expand the program nationwide.
For those who don't understand why this is horrifically bad, this bank is indirectly profiting from unlawful activity. And, they're explicitly going after that market. If you're one of those people who don't agree this is bad, imagine some form of illegal activity that you believe is bad for society. Then, imagine BofA going after that market.
And, the bank couldn't do this if they knew the government wasn't going to turn a blind eye to it. And, the bank no doubt donates to political candidates, and they will almost certainly only donate to politicians who will help the bank make more money.
Let's imagine that a few years from now BofA is making a handsome profit from this card. Then, some politician proposes forbidding banks from engaging in this practice. Do you think BofA is going to just let some politician cut off the money flow? Isn't it more likely that they're going to donate to those politicians who'll allow more illegal immigration and who'll support companies trying to profit from that indirect illegal activity? (A tangible example: when Tom Tancredo merely suggested taxing remittances, Western Union/First Data began publicly supporting - and funding - his Democratic opponent).
In summary, Bank of "America"'s actions rely on and will lead to political corruption. And, the bank would not do this if the Bush administration were not completely corrupt.
As for what you can do about this:
- Hopefully, BofA will eventually face both civil suits and criminal prosecutions for their scheme, and that might have a serious impact on their stock price. If you're a shareholder, express your concern. Even better, if you belong to a pension plan that invests in the bank, express your concern to the manager of the plan, and tell others to do the same.
- Watch for news reports and editorials concerning the card, and write letters to the ombudsman or editor, or leave comments.
- Contact your representatives and urge them to remove any loopholes that allow banks to engage in this activity or to investigate their activites.
- If you have any business with BofA, transfer it to some other bank; make sure they don't have a similar policy on ITIN numbers or Matricula Consular cards first.
- Stop supporting anyone linked to the Bush administration.
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Their money or your safety
UPDATE: An unconfirmed comment here says:
All of you Bank of America customers call the number on the back of your ATM cards and push ZERO to speak to a customer service representative. Then ask to fill out a voice of the customer form. The representative will enter your comments and it will get mailed to the quality assurance & customer satisfaction department. The bank takes these forms very seriously. Lodge your complaint and make your voice ring loud and proud to Bank of America President Ken Lewis.
UPDATE 2: According to this:
[Bank of America] executives said participants needed another form of identification, such as ID cards issued by foreign consulates.
In Mexico's case, that refers to the Matricula Consular card. In 2004, the Bush administration twisted arms to allow banks to accept that card as identification, despite both the FBI and the DHS admitting that the card was a security risk.
UPDATE 3: From this:
Bank of America wants all media inquiries about the credit cards for illegals program to be directed to Betsy Weinberger at 1-704-387-7376. This is your chance to be a John and Ken Assistant Producer for the day!