NOVEMBER 13, 2006 - Posted at 7:32 a.m. CST
MEMPHIS, TN - Real estate and mortgage companies say its profitable to them to offer services to immigrants in the country illegally.
One bank, the Bank of Bartlett, started a mortgage program for people without Social Security numbers, which likely includes some illegal immigrants.
Bank Chairman and CEO Bob Byrd says federal banking officials gave him the idea at a conference.
Federal officials say they encourage banks to offer services to immigrants, but don't take a position on lending to those in the country illegally.
Many immigrants are attractive borrowers because they have substantial savings from their jobs and pay a lot of cash up front.
But Steve Camarota with the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington says the process is still unethical.