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From: [Name Withheld]
Actually, I reached my conclusion several years ago when Wells Fargo started accepting the Matricula Consular card to open accounts. One would logically assume that if one were in the country legally, a proper Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number would be available.
What makes me really shake my head in disbelief is there is an Ethics course that employees must complete each year! There we are taught that if we see an illegal activity we are obliged to report it.
Every time an account is opened without a valid SSN and the account holder gives an American address, it is very likely that person is here illegally.
I have debated asking executives this very question when they give us the opportunity to ask anonymously, but I don't trust that the question won't be traced back to me. Then, I'll be marked as un-PC.
And to make my blood boil even faster, I work in IT where some departments don't have a single native-born American. When we request resumes for open contracting positions, the native-born Americans' applications are a small minority.
Banking is a heavily regulated industry. Banks are required to verify the identity of their customers as well as check customers against a government-maintained Office of Foreign Assets Control list.
To require banks to verify that customers are in compliance with American immigration law would not be onerous.
While I don't think Immigration and Customs Enforcement would deport people found to be illegally in the country through a check of this type—(I can always wish)—banks should at least be required to withhold taxes on such accounts.