New Loan Program Helps Undocumented Immigrants

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Alejandra Salas was born in Mexico, but moved to the United States when she was just one year old. Although not technically a citizen, she grew up thinking she was an American.

That is, until she tried to get a part-time job as a teenager. 

“I wanted to work,” Salas, now 22, told NBC Latino, “I thought I was equal or the same as other students. They made fun of me, like, ‘You are an illegal, you should go back to Mexico and see if you can get a job there.’”

Salas qualified for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program President Barack Obama passed in 2012 which stops the deportation of certain undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children. It also gives them a chance to work, study, and reside lawfully.

However, an application for the program costs $465 -- quite a feat for Salas, who couldn’t even legally obtain employment. 

Now, a new loan exists which can help immigrants like Salas pay the application fee and qualify for deferred action. The NYC DREAMer Loan Fund is a partnership between the New Economy Project, an advocacy center for financial equality, two community credit unions, and other organizations. The DREAMers pay a $20 loan process fee and walk out of the building with a check for the application. 

See how undocumented immigrants can get the loan on page 2 >>>

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Cristina Arreola, Associate Editor

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