Bill would block credit cards for illegals
Commercial Appeal | March 7, 2007
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., introduced legislation Monday that would prevent illegal immigrants from receiving credit cards from American financial institutions.
The Photo Identification Security Act would require banks to use what Blackburn calls "secure forms of identification" to obtain credit. In a statement put out by her office, she says that Bank of America "has come under fire in response to reports that it allows illegal immigrants access to credit cards without proper documentation."
Bank of America spokesmen maintain that they follow the letter of the law in permitting customers to use the forms of identification permissible under the U.S.A. Patriot Act. That includes matricula consular cards issued by the Mexican government.
"The American people deserve to know that the integrity and security of our financial institutions will remain intact," Blackburn said in a statement Monday. "This bill closes a critical loophole that banking institutions have used to circumvent the letter of the law they have used to target illegal aliens as a new source of revenue. It says to banks and illegal immigrants alike, 'You can't get a Visa, without a visa.'"
Bank of America issues the secured, or collateralized, credit cards only after a customer has established a deposit account, and to get a deposit account, the company requires a Social Security number, proof of U.S. government federal taxpayer status, or other documents listed as identification by the Patriot Act.