Bank Reaching Out to Illegal's - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

02.13.07

Bank Reaching Out to Illegal's

You don't need a social security number for a new kind of major bank credit card. 

That means people in the U.S. illegally can apply for the card too.
 

Bank of America spokeswoman Brittany Sheehan tells NewsChannel 10's Julia Bagg the company's new pilot program in California targets hispanic customers and educates them.
  

She notes the credit card program follows federal laws, while only requiring a tax ID for customers to first open a checking account and then apply for the credit card.        
 

The bank does not check legal status beyond that.
   

Alvaro Muñiz helps people in Amarillo apply for legal U.S. status.
  

He says undocumented people in the U.S. normally have few banking options if any. 

 "They handle the money in cash, all that they do is with cash. They don't have a way to manage their money."

Muñiz notes some local banks will open accounts for Mexican nationals - regardless of their legal status - if they carry a consulate issued ID.
  

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