How the Immigration Reform Bill Will Impact Credit Unions

Posted by on June 11, 2013

Last month, the U.S. Senate introduced an immigration reform bill that proposed a complete overhaul to the country’s immigration system. Although a vote is likely several months away, credit union leaders would do well to begin paying attention now as passage of immigration reform will undoubtedly impact them.

If instituted, the proposed path to citizenship included in the bill will bring about an increased need for assistance to an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country today. With identification and documentation barriers removed, these aspiring U.S. citizens will begin the search for trusted providers of everything from English as a second language courses to home sales.

Of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country today, many are Hispanic. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, nearly 60% are of Mexican origin, making outreach to this particular group very important for credit unions bracing for the impact of immigration reform. Beyond its sheer size, the Hispanic market’s youth has made service to this group a sound investment for credit unions looking to grow while lowering the average age of membership.

Credit unions that have been serving immigrants well and building trust in the communities they serve, will have a definite leg up when these new business opportunities come to fruition. That said, it’s not too late to begin following in these progressive credit unions’ footsteps. And for some credit unions, particularly those in gateway states, it’s not only a good idea. It’s critical for leadership to begin formulating an outreach strategy today — one that will put them in touch with these potential new members now.

The introduction of immigration reform bills by our legislators shines a bright light on what some credit unions have already learned: Investing in service to the critical Hispanic market is vital to future growth.

This blog is an excerpt from the guest opinion article “Immigration Reform May Prompt Member Push” recently published by the Credit Union Times.

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