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Lost Shoes – Stolen Credit
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March 19, 2005, 04:00 AM
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I can`t read the news anymore…I gave up on watching it many moons ago.  I have a tendency to get angry and throw things.  Frankly I have several pairs of shoes that consist of only one shoe as the other has never been recovered from the appliance at which it was hurled. It hurts the appliances, too.

I know, grumble…grumble.

This is the latest:

Banks Find Mortgage Clientele in Undocumented Immigrants. by Katherine Reynolds Lewis, (email her)March 15, 2005,Newhouse News Services

March 15, 2005

As if the headline were not enough to incite a shoe toss, the introduction was fail-safe.

"Dalila and William Timal look like any other couple signing a home mortgage. They`ve picked out paint colors for their new four-bedroom house in Indianapolis and can`t wait for their 18-month-old son to play in the yard.

But they differ in one way from many others you`d see at a loan officer`s desk: Neither is a U.S. citizen or legal resident. The Timals came to this country from Guatemala in the late `90s and illegally overstayed their visas."

Aww, isn`t that sweet?  The ickle Timal family from Guatemala just overstayed their visas—like, for ten years —and lucky day; we`re letting them, although illegal aliens, buy property (with our money) in the United States. 

Were there some other immigrants who overstayed their visas…who was it now…I think they had an affinity for flying??  Oh yeah, Mohammed Atta comes to mind! Think tall buildings, no longer there, in New York, ring a bell?

This is thanks to a new program by Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank which bases a mortgage on an individual taxpayer identification number, or ITIN.  You know, rather than a Social Security Number. 

Unfortunately, there are many financial institutions which offer such loans. According to the Newhouse article "just among the nation`s roughly 6 million undocumented Latinos is a potential $44 billion market for homes, according to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals." [PDF]

Not to worry, say Latino lobbyists such as Harry P. Pachon (e mail him) President of Los Angeles based Tomas Rivera Policy Institute.

"Critics often overlook the fact that many households with an undocumented immigrant also include a legal permanent resident or U.S. citizen, frequently a child who was born here"

Ok, there might be a little law which prevents a minor under the age of 18 from obtaining any sort of credit line…I would imagine this includes mortgage loans.  [Not to mention I have a problem with the whole if you are born here then you are a citizen racket.]

Pachon adds

"Everybody likes to think of this as a dichotomy where you`re legal or you`re illegal; it`s really a pipeline," Pachon said. "Today`s illegal immigrant is tomorrow`s legal resident."

I would argue that it is neither a dichotomy nor a pipeline.  It is a simple status:  You are legally in the U.S. or you are not. 

Dan Stein, President of FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform) had a response to this madness.

"It is a threat to national security and public safety and is morally bankrupt," said Dan Stein "It breeds ultimate contempt for laws."

Can I get an amen for Mr. Dan?

Banks "ought to be part of the solution in insuring that people who apply for mortgages and conduct other business are here legally," Stein said. "They went down the road of making a fast buck in a way that is frankly, in our view, inconsistent with the spirit of patriotism and federal law."

The Newhouse article exemplifies the illegal immigration problem in America.

"The growth of ITIN mortgage programs is an example of how day-to-day life in America has adapted to the reality of as many as 10 million undocumented immigrants. The IRS accepts their tax payments, employers recruit them, and companies seek them out as customers."

Right—the employers, the IRS and blood-sucking companies looking for a fast buck—I say penalize the lot; shut them down if necessary.

More benign, the Newhouse article beams fondly on:

"…they have no legal right to work or remain in the United States, and are denied full benefits afforded to citizens. To buy homes, many have used a borrowed or false Social Security number, jeopardizing their legal right to the property. Without access to the traditional banking system, they have been easy targets for predatory lenders charging excessive interest."

What if the Timals or one of these other illegal families turns out to be terrorists?  I am not suggesting that they are, but consider the logical possibility.  What then? 

If they were to be such persons, the above paragraph would become known as Exhibit A in U.S. stupidity court. 

Many have used borrowed or false social security numbers, jeopardizing their legal right to property… oh, please. Breaking the law by providing fraudulent information would not be the trigger for deportation.  Illegally entering the country should be the punishable offense.

Now that I have vented a bit I feel better…Hell, no I don`t.  However, I do have an amusing anecdote to share about a family of illegal aliens who bought a house in southern California.

It was a nice, quiet neighborhood until a family of 14, yes 14, moved in.  Within two weeks, they built a fence around their front yard. A week later, they moved a couple of goats and a plethora of chickens into their fenced, front yard. 

Believe it or not, the residents could do very little because the CC&R`s did not restrict farm animals (small numbers) from property in the neighborhood.  It was a cultural difference.  You see, it never occurred to the author`s of the homeowner`s association that language about prohibiting farm animals needed to be included in the rules.

The neighborhood finally succeeded in ending the zoo by referencing a rule which prevented front yard fencing. (And then somebody called Immigration and…)

It may not be an accurate portrayal of all foreigners buying property in the U.S. but it threw a little humor into an otherwise terrifying article.

Bryanna Bevens [email her] is a political consultant and former chief of staff for a member of the California State Assembly.

VDARE.COM addendum: Quite apart from the moral aspect of the bending of regulations to convenience illegals, there is an economic consequence too, which is adverse to many native-born Americans. Property owners, builders, and asset-seeking financial institutions may benefit: those seeking to acquire shelter face more competition and higher costs. Typically these are younger and less well off: so this is yet another case of the regressive wealth redistribution of uncontrolled immigration. And these lenders are not angels either: the article Bryanna cites quotes a bank explicitly saying the loans are attractive because, not being easy to re sell, there is less competition to make them and therefore higher rates can be charged.

Furthermore the ability of many of the borrowers to service their loans (in cash, as the article naively notes) stems from the notorious fact that many members of these households are working off the books and not paying taxes. And they are shunting their medical costs via Emergency Rooms onto the reeling Health Insurance plans of their native born neighbors.

These banks are accomplices to larceny.