Lawsuit Alleges Bank Improperly Denied DACA Students Loans
By Gaby Pacheco March 9, 2017
Student loan lending may be big business for traditional banks, but for Wells Fargo, the hits keep coming. Just months after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined Wells over its student loan servicing practices, the San Francisco-based bank is facing a lawsuit filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund. The suit contends Wells denied borrowers loans due to their immigration status. The lawsuit, launched in late January, is taking on new meaning given President Trump’s shift in immigration policies and his directive to deport an increasing number of undocumented immigrants. Fears are reverberating through immigrant communities that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program, will be rescinded.
Put on the books by former President Obama in June 2012, DACA gives undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children a deferred action from deportation, along with making them eligible to work. The deferred action status is renewable every two years. “If the president rescinds DACA, it may be more difficult to make the argument that a person qualifies as a borrower for a student loan,” says Maurice H. Goldman, an immigration attorney in Tucson, Ariz., at Goldman & Goldman PC. According to Pew Research, more than 750,000 young unauthorized immigrants have received work permits and protection from deportation because of DACA.
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