Here's a Court Case Where Everybody Should Lose

By David North on February 1, 2017

Here's a civil case (involving migration status) in the California state courts where both sides should lose.

One player is an illegal alien with a short-term DACA partial-legalization card. That relates to the Obama-created Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals near-amnesty program.

The other is Wells Fargo, a very big bank.

The DACA person, a student at UC/Riverside, Mitzie Perez, sought a student loan from Wells Fargo, which rejected it because of her DACA status; whether the bank had a right to do that is discussed a little later.

Then Perez, perhaps unaware that one should have clean hands when one goes to court, tried again, according to her lawyers' press release:

In an attempt to better understand the reason for the denial, Ms. Perez returned to the bank's website and changed her response to the question about citizenship status to: "I am a permanent resident alien."

This is unusual for a lawyer's press release, because it admits that the client was lying.

Then the bank, with this new information, replied:

Based on the citizenship status you provided, a U.S. citizen cosigner will be required.

This suggests, to me anyway, that under these circumstances Wells Fargo was discriminating against what they believed to be a green card holder.

I am surprised that the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) agreed to handle the case, given their client's behavior. This posting is based on a MALDEF press release.

My sense is the Wells Fargo may have been within its rights in turning down the initial loan application on the grounds that the applicant did not have long-term legal status, and thus could not assure repayment. Wells Fargo would certainly been on firm ground had Ms. Perez been an illegal alien without any U.S. documentation.

But when the facts changed, and the bank thought it was dealing with a permanent resident, I fault it for demanding a citizen co-signer. They could have required an older person, or a person with a job, but asking for a citizen sounds like discrimination to me.

As the Bard said, "A plague on both your houses."