Thursday, September 27, 2018

Should Credit Scores Impact Immigration?

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Credit Score Range by CafeCredit.com

On Sunday, Kevin highlighted the Department of Homeland Security's newly proposed rules regarding inadmissibility on public charge grounds. Many have been up in arms about the changes - particularly the choices parents will need to face before accepting food stamps or WIC.

But there's another interesting aspect of the proposed rules that Marketwatch has noted. DHS sees value in assessing a noncitizen's credit score. As noted on page 188 of the report:

...DHS also proposes that USCIS would consider an alien’s liabilities and information of such liabilities in a U.S. credit report and score as part of the financial status factor. Not everyone has a credit history in the United States. Nevertheless, a good credit score in the United States is a positive factor that indicates a person is likely to be self-sufficient and support the household. Conversely, a lower credit score or negative credit history in the United States may indicate that a person’s financial status is weak and that he or she may not be self- sufficient.

Pages 425-428 contains the actual proposed language. In relevant part:

§ 212.22 Public Charge Inadmissibility Determination
This section relates to the public charge ground of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(4) of the Act....
(b) Minimum factors to consider. A public charge inadmissibility determination must entail consideration of the alien’s a...financial status, as follows:...
(ii) Evidence. USCIS' consideration includes but is not limited to the following:... (H) The alien’s credit history and credit score...

This is a fascinating development that's ripe for further research - particularly in light of articles such as this: Discriminatory Effects of Credit Scoring on Communities of Color. I just might have to tackle this.

-KitJ

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2018/09/should-credit-scores-impact-immigration-.html

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