Cultural concerns among Latinos immigrants over how they protect their Social Security numbers may undermine their ability to migrate into the US banking system.
According to bankers who provide financial services to immigrants, many applicants withhold their SSN when they apply for a bank account. In fact, as many as four of every ten people who apply for accounts at certain Latino-focused banks submit a form of identification other than their SSN, even though they have a number.
It comes down to the fact that they hear from within their peer groups that their SSN is too important to risk sharing with an online company – even one operating under strict regulatory supervision such as a bank. New residents understand that getting a social security number confers immediate benefits. Having received a card, a person qualifies for retirement benefits. According to the Council of Economic Advisors, a majority of elderly Latinos receive more than 90 percent of their retirement income from Social Security.
Getting a Social Security number represents a significant step to full assimilation in the United States.
Those concerns have gained more credibility inside immigrant communities because of recent changes in our country’s political environment.
According to a 2017 report from the Pew Research Center, the share of Hispanics who believe their status within our country is worsening has doubled since 2015, and more specifically, that approximately one-half hold concerns that someone they know will be deported.