Public Speaker on Public Issues


Stealth Amnesty


Many U. S. banks can now join the Brotherhood of Betrayal along with Enron, WorldCom, Arthur Andersen and many others that haven't as yet surfaced on the national news. Many of the 'money changers' clearly see dollars in their banks as far more precious than guarding America's way of life by respecting the laws this nation has passed.

Many banks have begun to accept an identification card (matricula) from Mexican nationals which will allows thousands and thousands of illegal immigrants to open bank accounts. Not all individuals who hold matricula cards are illegal immigrants. No one is saying that. However, many who are in this country illegally are in possession of these easily obtainable cards, and now have another dishonest way of establishing or validating themselves in this country. Banks should not be using such identification cards that they do not and many times cannot validate as legitimate.

These matricula are issued by the 48 Mexican consulate offices throughout the country. All it takes is $29 and proof of who they are and their address. How hard is that to come up with?

Some banks it appears have decided two fundamental positions:

First, regardless of the ramifications to this nation and its legal residents, banks want a 'piece of the action' when it comes to the reported $10 billion which Mexicans send to Mexico every year.
They wordsmith this position with the ever popular phrase "serving a segment of the market that is underserved." Sound familiar? Rather like 'illegals do the work Americans won't so we should allow illegals into this country and be thankful for them.'

Secondly, they don't see themselves as a partner with the federal government in either helping to solve the illegal immigration problem or in helping to fight the war on terrorism. Terrorism has many faces and many forms. Illegal immigration is economic terrorism. Perhaps the involved banks chose to totally ignore this other side of the 'coin'.

An article in the Omaha World Herald, August 15, 2002 reflects some of the banking world's approach. Elias Eliopoulos, president of consumer banking for the First National Bank of Omaha is paraphrased as having said the bank is not an arm of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and does not believe it is the bank's role to ask if a person is a legal resident. I suppose this means that it's just fine for the banking world to worsen the problem by encouraging illegals to benefit from the infrastructures of this nation. Infrastructures which could not, and will not continue to exist if laws are not respected through enforcement.

This is not just a philosophical or ethical issue. Although those sidebars alone provide strong arguments to not justify either of these positions, there are legal technicalities starting to surface and with good reason.

Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement (FILE) have brought a number of these legal technicalities to the attention of some banks. See their web site: and the letter to U.S. banks which sets forth their legal spin on this situation. It gives any American, not totally absorbed in themselves, something upon which to reflect.

Many nationalities come to this country as illegal immigrants. This article seems focused on Mexicans only because it addresses this new validation by American banks of the 'matricula card' as acceptable identification. Banks have not routinely done this in the past because it wasn't recognized as valid identification. But in the past we weren't talking about $10 billion dollars annually.

Stealth amnesty will be the result of this money stream mechanism. It will encourage illegals and it will give them a validation they don't deserve, regardless of how much illegal money they earn.
The term stealth amnesty is appropriately used by Craig Nelsen, Director of FILE in articulating what is fundamentally flawed with this new attack on American immigration policy.

Our government is attempting to stem the flow of all illegal immigrants to this nation. Our institutions should support those efforts. They should not, through avarice and greed, justify their sabotage of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Border Patrol by assigning full responsibility for solving the national crisis of illegal immigration to these agencies.

The banking institutions of this nation should welcome an opportunity to help solve the problem by making it more difficult for illegals to disappear into the American mainstream. They should be proud to do this. It is about what is right for America. The things that are 'so right' about America have been made possible by respect for law and order.

Wordsmithing phrases such as 'banking is not an arm of the Immigration and Naturalization Service' will not erase civic guilt. Such phrases will, however, put banking on the ever growing membership list of the Brotherhood of Betrayal.

~ America's Voice, August 21, 2002

Permission granted to reprint in full or part with full credit given to author.

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