The Bridge: Issue 2

The Bridge 2 Cover

Federation E-Magazine “The Bridge” Explores the Emerging Immigrant Market and the Credit Union Response

(February 25, 2013 – New York, NY)

Following a successful inaugural launch in November 2012, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) is pleased to announce the second release of its quarterly e-magazine, The Bridge. The Federation has received great feedback and continues to strive to produce compelling content that takes the reader right to the sights and sounds of communities where people work together to promote prosperity.

In the second edition of The Bridge, the focus is on recognizing the opportunities inherent in serving immigrant populations within a credit union field of membership. In her opening letter, Federation President and CEO Cathie Mahon frames the issue by encouraging credit unions to consider products, services and strategies to reach immigrant populations, adding, “It is essential that we acknowledge diversity and differentiate the needs and opportunities among these market segments.”

The cover story looks at the economic contributions of immigrants across America. Readers will learn more about the role that immigrants play in their communities and see that these ‘emerging markets’ of underserved populations provide an excellent opportunity for credit unions and related organizations to empower their communities. Deyanira Del Rio, Associate Director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP), provides a brief legal background on the current state of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and highlights the demand for a loan fund that serves the needs of young immigrants and the role credit unions could play in this endeavor.

Profile of Service highlights four credit unions that reach out to immigrant communities and finds innovative ways to serve their needs. Family Federal Credit Union of Wilmington, CA, for example, has provided immigrant loans to cover the costs associated with visa renewals, legal residence or citizenship applications for decades. Guadalupe Credit Union of Santa Fe, NM recently launched its own DACA loans in partnership with other credit unions and financial consulting firms, and Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) in Durham, NC has launched a similar DREAMer Loan program. As LCCU President Luis Pastor notes, “The need is real, and it’s a priority for us.” Finally, North Side Federal Credit Union of Chicago, IL has partnered with a local community agency to launch a citizenship loan called The New Americans Loan, which also includes attorney consultations and citizenship education.

Bill Cheney, President and CEO of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), concludes the issue, reminding readers of a shared vision that embodies the credit union movement based on value and trust. Cheney also points to the collective potential of credit unions to become America’s most trusted financial partner.

These stories exemplify the value and potential of cooperation that is critical to the success of the credit union movement. The second issue of The Bridge can be found by clicking here.

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