Published: December 2018

Trump wants to use credit scores to keep immigrants out of the country

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a terrible proposal that intends to use immigrants’ personal credit information as part of the assessment to qualify for a green card or visa. Using an irrelevant, often error-prone, measure like a credit score to assign immigration status is not only absurd, it misuses credit information, and places financial stress and economic harm on families.

Consumer Action joined coalition advocates in opposing the Department of Homeland Security’s proposal to change the “public charge” regulation. The new rule could force immigrant families to choose between permanent legal status and their ability to access basic needs like healthy food, safe housing, and health care. One bizarre new element of the rule: using credit history as a determining factor for families’ immigration status. Credit reports and scores were designed to evaluate whether a would-be borrower is a good credit risk. Using credit history automatically disadvantages immigrants who typically have no credit or are “credit thin,” and has no basis for being used in immigration decisions.

Lead Organization

National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients)

Other Organizations

National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients) | Allied Progress | Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund | Asset Building Policy Network | Center for Digital Democracy | Center for Democracy & Technology | Center for Responsible Lending | Constitutional Alliance | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | Demos | Impact Fund | Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility | LCLAA | Main Street Alliance | NAACP | National Association of Consumer Advocates | National Black Justice Coalition | National Center for Law and Economic Justice | National Consumers League | National Council of Churches | National Fair Housing Alliance | Privacy Times | Prosperity Now | Public Citizen | The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights | UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) | Woodstock Institute | World Privacy Forum

More Information

To read the letter in full, please click here.

For more information, please visit NCLC's website.

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