Elsewhere online
January 25, 2013

'Lending Circles' a Model for Group Aiding Immigrants

Echoing the "lending circles" common in U.S. immigrant communities, a San Francisco charity is helping immigrants who are in the country illegally raise and save money to pay for legalization applications, writes The Wall Street Journal.

Participants in the Mission Asset Fund program are both lenders and borrowers, making monthly contributions to a pot until it contains enough for each member to pay the $465 fee and apply under President Obama 2012 order offering a route to legal residency for immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

José Quiñonez, who runs the fund, said it formalizes the circles popular in Latino and Korean communities, in which members make regular contributions and take turns collecting the kitty. The fund waives a portion of the fee for lenders in good standing, making up the difference with donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations.