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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About this author

Cristina Arreola, Associate Editor

Cristina Mari Arreola is the Associate Editor. Originally from El Paso, Texas, she earned her degree at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University before moving to New York City. In her downtime, you can usually find her scouring the city for the most authentic Mexican food (still looking), scaring herself silly watching horror movies, or frantically reading a novel from her (extremely lengthy) reading list. See what she's reading now on Goodreads, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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