If you live in the United States or follow the US news, then you have likely heard about the plight of approximately 690,000 Dreamers who according the Washington Post will face deportation when their visa expires if the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), created by an executive order that was issued during the Obama presidency, is repealed.
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DACA currently protects undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before the age of 16 and who passed a background check from deportation by providing them with a two-year renewable permit for work and education. The current administration is vigorously working to repeal this executive order to support their tough stance on immigration.
The removal of DACA will predominantly impact Latino immigrants, who came to America in search of employment opportunities to support their families both here and abroad. Prior to DACA and other pro-immigration laws that support this community these individuals faced continuous obstacles in documenting asset ownership, economic activity, their citizenship and even their existence in both the US and their country of origin. Without proper verification they were unable to access bank accounts, establish credit or borrow against homes they already owned. This lack of financial validation is what shackles immigrants and marginalized communities as a second-class citizen.
As many in the Latino community face growing uncertainty and risk having their limited rights removed they can no longer put their trust in a system that is working hard to exclude them. This has opened up an opportunity for innovative organizations who care about inclusion, access and supporting communities to provide solutions using blockchain technology.
“Our Latino communities continue to fight for access to financial instruments that empower us in the path for economic freedom. For too long, we have we been subjugated to unscrupulous predatory marketing programs that restrain our ability to compete on equal footing with the rest of our nation. Technology has become the greatest equalizer for economic growth, and the Latino community is poised to take advantage of every opportunity granted” Luis Alvarado, CNN Latino Political Expert and Uulala Advisor.
UULALA GOES TO WASHINGTON DC TO MEET WITH OFFICIALS TO HELP DREAMERS
Blockchain technology has the ability to help developing nations, emerging markets and cultural segments within developed economies, like the Dreamers, find solutions to problems that first world nations and documented immigrants often take for granted.
One company that is leading the way by using blockchain technology to support the underserved members of their community and those most impacted by the changes to immigration laws is Uulala. (Pronounced Ooh La La)
Uulala is a mission-driven organization that facilitates and accelerates the financial inclusion of the under-banked and unbanked population across the Americas. They do this by providing the tools communities need to participate in secure financial transactions, build credit and send remittances as well as access to ecommerce and financial services that were once out of reach.
While Uulala can’t stop DACA being repealed they are working hard to consult on the decision and provide solutions to those who are impacted by continued inequality and limited rights.
As a US-based company with the majority of shareholders being first or second generation Latin Americans. Their fintech app and platform is designed with inclusion at the forefront and their team are motivated by their mission to serve those who have been excluded from the traditional banking system or held back due to their banking status. This blockchain startup has set aside a portion of their token sale for financial education initiatives and will deploy a multilingual financial education platform as users become credit eligible in their system.
“We are at a tumultuous time in history where the Latino community has a lot of fear about what will happen with the US government and US financial institutions and how that will affect their ability to work, save and support their families. Uulala was developed to be the beacon of light or mechanism to sustain and empower a culture that has been cast aside” Oscar Garcia, Uulala CEO.
The United States to Mexico remittance corridor just had the most significant year on record with an estimated $26.1 billion from January to November 2017, according to figures released by the Central Bank of Mexico. The average fee to transfer money to Mexico from Western Union is about $10 as most of these transactions are below $300. In the Uulala system, these transfers will be substantially less and will also count as a financial transaction to contribute to a global credit scoring system as users build their credit profile through active app use. “Remittances are an important source of income for millions of families in developing countries. As such, a weakening of remittance flows can have a serious impact on the ability of families to get health care, education or proper nutrition,” said Rita Ramalho, Acting Director of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group.
The Latino demographic possesses a $2 trillion GDP in spending power and is one of the fastest growing population segments in the US according to the Pew Research Center. The ability to build trust and bridge the gap from informal to the formal economy for this demographic is no easy task, but adoption and network effects for a platform can provide a seismic shift in how brands interact with this once unbanked market.
Their focus on security, inclusion, access, and service is what will help Uulala develop trust and gain the confidence of the Latino community. Allowing this once excluded demographic the opportunity to build credit, access affordable banking, and improve their living situation. Blockchain technology has the potential to solve many social problems by increasing access, equality and democracy. It is an exciting new era in business that will hopefully continue to create positive change and allow every person living in the Americas equal access to banking.