Photo: "Dreamer Loan"
The Latino Community Credit Union of North Carolina has created a “Dreamer Loan” to keep students who qualify for Deferred Action from being left out because they don’t have the money to pay the $465 application fee.
The LCCU has started informing its 54,000 members about the new finance program for young undocumented immigrants eligible for Deferred Action, a program aimed at delaying deportation of the kind of people who would benefit from the long-stalled DREAM Act.
“Dreamers” under 18 can apply for loans with the aid of their parents.
Some 50,000 young people in North Carolina could apply for Deferred Action, according to Immigration Policy Center estimates.
“Nobody should be left out because of money problems,” Luis Pastor, director general of the LCCU, told Efe. “The funds we have here belong to the community and will be invested so our young people can achieve their education dreams.”
Pastor stressed that to get a Dreamer Loan, the applicant has to be or become an LCCU member, but does not need a credit history.
“This (Deferred Action) is a unique chance to increase educational and job possibilities while improving the quality of life for the young people and their families,” he said.
To become a member of the LCCU, the applicant must have a currently valid photo ID from any country or a student identity card, a valid tax identification number and proof of residence in the form of a utility bill.
After hearing about the Dreamer Loan, Carlos Quiñonez went Wednesday to the LCCU branch on South Boulevard in Charlotte with his 18-year-old son Alonso, who has just graduated from high school.
“We had tickets to go back to Peru in June until the Obama Administration announced the immigration program and we decided to stay, because my son has been here since the age of 12 and wants to join the Air Force, Quiñonez told Efe.
With eight years as LCCU members, the Quiñonez family did not hesitate to apply for a loan for Carlos and at the same time get him started building his credit history.
Meanwhile, organizations like the Latin American Coalition in Charlotte have begun to give talks on the subject, and the more than 250 families that turned up for the session on Thursday were brought up to date on the immigration program.
What worries mothers like the Mexican Silvia Ibarra is not having the cash to pay for the application.
“There’s not much work available and to come up with almost $500 right now is hard. If they offer me a loan that we can pay off later it would be the perfect way for my son to apply,” Ibarra told Efe.
In the case of Nerida Ramos from Peru, she has to find the money to pay for two of her children who qualify for Deferred Action.
“We have an account in one of the country’s big banks but I don’t think they’ll loan us any money for this,” she said.