Durbin promotes citizenship-loan programs to help immigrants prosper
Illinois has become home to more and more lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who are eligible to naturalize, but who have yet to do so, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) visited Second Federal Credit Union’s Brighton Park location late last week to discuss citizenship-loan products the institution is now offering.
At $680, the citizenship fee has nearly tripled over the past 16 years. The expense of the fee is said to have become one of the main deterrents for lawful permanent residents to follow through with completing U.S. citizenship requirements.
“Too many immigrants today are on track to become U.S. citizens, but face financial obstacles during the final stage of the naturalization process,” Durbin said. “Most don’t know that there are now low-interest loans available to help get over these economic barriers. These new loans are a safer alternative to the payday loans available through the predatory lenders that are all too common in Chicago’s low-income communities.”
Last year, Second Federal said it would offer citizenship loans to help LPRs cover their naturalization fees and any additional legal fees incurred. Second Federal also offers DACA loans to cover the $465 cost of initial and renewal DACA applications. Approximately 37,000 LPRs have been approved for DACA, and more than 19,000 have been granted renewals. Second Federal, which already has made DACA loans to 260 individuals, operates branches in Brighton Park, Little Village and Cicero.