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Bank of Illegal Aliens in America

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 13, 2007 09:21 AM

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Higher standards…except for illegal aliens

Bank of America has introduced a new credit especially and exclusively for law-breaking immigrants. Really. The story is on the front page of the Wall Street Journal today. It’s subscription-only. Here are the details:

In the latest sign of the U.S. banking industry’s aggressive pursuit of the Hispanic market, Bank of America Corp. has quietly begun offering credit cards to customers without Social Security numbers — typically illegal immigrants.

In recent years, banks across the country have begun offering checking accounts and, in some cases, mortgages to the nation’s fast-growing ranks of undocumented immigrants, most of whom are Hispanic. But these immigrants generally haven’t been able to get major credit cards, making it hard for them to develop a credit history and expand their purchasing power.

The new Bank of America program is open to people who lack both a Social Security number and a credit history, as long as they have held a checking account with the bank for three months without an overdraft. Most adults in the U.S. who don’t have a Social Security number are undocumented immigrants.

The Charlotte, N.C., banking giant tested the program last year at five branches in Los Angeles, and last week expanded it to 51 branches in Los Angeles County, home to the largest concentration of illegal immigrants in the U.S. The bank hopes to roll out the program nationally later this year.

The banking giant salivating over the massive illegal alien market insists it’s doing nothing wrong:

Bank of America defends the program, saying it complies with U.S. banking and antiterrorism laws. Company executives say that the initiative isn’t about politics, but rather about meeting the needs of an untapped group of potential customers.

“These people are coming here for quality of life, and they deserve somebody to give them a chance to achieve that quality of life,” says Brian Tuite, the bank’s director of Latin America card operations and one of the architects of the program.

BoA is defying federal immigration laws:

1907 Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a) Offenses

Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a) defines several distinct offenses related to aliens. Subsection 1324(a)(1)(i)-(v) prohibits alien smuggling, domestic transportation of unauthorized aliens, concealing or harboring unauthorized aliens, encouraging or inducing unauthorized aliens to enter the United States, and engaging in a conspiracy or aiding and abetting any of the preceding acts. Subsection 1324(a)(2) prohibits bringing or attempting to bring unauthorized aliens to the United States in any manner whatsoever, even at a designated port of entry. Subsection 1324(a)(3).

Encouraging/Inducing — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) makes it an offense for any person who — encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.

Conspiracy/Aiding or Abetting — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(v) expressly makes it an offense to engage in a conspiracy to commit or aid or abet the commission of the foregoing offenses.

Penalties — The basic statutory maximum penalty for violating 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(i) and (v)(I) (alien smuggling and conspiracy) is a fine under title 18, imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both. With regard to violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(ii)-(iv) and (v)(ii), domestic transportation, harboring, encouraging/inducing, or aiding/abetting, the basic statutory maximum term of imprisonment is 5 years, unless the offense was committed for commercial advantage or private financial gain, in which case the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years. In addition, significant enhanced penalties are provided for in violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1) involving serious bodily injury or placing life in jeopardy. Moreover, if the violation results in the death of any person, the defendant may be punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years. The basic penalty for a violation of subsection 1324(a)(2) is a fine under title 18, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(2)(A). Enhanced penalties are provided for violations involving bringing in criminal aliens, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(2)(B)(i), offenses done for commercial advantage or private financial gain, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(2)(B)(ii), and violations where the alien is not presented to an immigration officer immediately upon arrival, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(2)(B)(iii). A mandatory minimum three year term of imprisonment applies to first or second violations of § 1324(a)(2)(B)(i) or (B)(ii). Further enhanced punishment is provided for third or subsequent offenses.

So what is the Bush Department of Homeland Security doing? Using the BoA outrage to argue for its amnesty plan that would reward illegal aliens en masse! They do not get it:

Department of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said banking products aimed at illegal immigrants “reinforce the need for a temporary worker program” that the Bush administration has been promoting. That program would screen, tax and otherwise regulate immigrant workers and, the administration contends, would squeeze out illegal workers who now use forged or stolen documents to get jobs, driver’s licenses and occasionally credit.

Dios mio. Banking products aimed at illegal immigrants do not “reinforce the need for a temporary worker program.” They reinforce the need to enforce the borders, strengthen interior enforcement of immigration laws, and punish companies openly flouting the rule of law.

Score another victory for phony baloney homeland security.

***

Fun fact: Bush’s first Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (2003-2005), Eduardo Aguirre, was President of International Private Banking for Bank of America, where he worked for 24 years.

Flashback: The Illegal Alien Gold Card

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Flashback: Banking on illegal immigration

Flashback: Banking on American stupidity

Flashback: Businessweek “Embracing Illegals – Companies are getting hooked on the buying power of 11 million undocumented immigrants”

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