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Miami-Dade Shootings Over Holiday Weekend, And A New Program Helps Immigrants Build Credit

Leatha Bush hugs Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava as they stand outside Miami-Dade police headquarters with officers in the background and foreground.
Miami Herald
The Jack Brown III Foundation founder, Leatha Bush, center, embraces Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, right, during the emotional press conference about the Memorial Day weekend mass shootings. Monday, May 31, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava hosted a press conference on the mass shootings over the Memorial Day weekend at the Fred Taylor Miami-Dade Police Headquarters in Doral, Florida.

We get the latest on the multiple shootings that happened across Miami-Dade this Memorial Day weekend. A new program that could help people get a credit card without having a credit history.

On this Tuesday, June 1, episode of Sundial,

Miami-Dade Shootings On Memorial Day Weekend

South Florida is dealing with the aftermath of multiple deadly shootings that happened over Memorial Day weekend.

One of the shootings happened Sunday after midnight. Gunmen ambushed a crowd outside a concert in Northwest Miami-Dade — leaving two people dead and at least 20 others wounded.

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Police called it the worst mass shooting in Miami-Dade County’s recent history.

“People are out abroad now. We all have to be vigilant and we have to invest in our communities and we have to police our communities. And all of that doesn't work without trust,” said Alfredo Ramirez, the director of the county's police department.

County officials said the shooting was the result of an ongoing rivalry between two groups.

There were seven known instances of gun violence in the county over the weekend since Thursday. In total, four people were killed and more than two dozen were injured.

“It’s been a really violent weekend down here,” said Miami Herald cops and crime reporter Chuck Rabin. “From the north end, to Wynwood, to Midtown, to the beach and the absolute violence with these semi-automatic weapons ... it’s crazy.”

During the shooting outside the concert on Sunday, two of the gunmen used what police described as “assault-style rifles.”

Police departments are asking people to come forward with information leading to the arrest of the gunmen. Anyone with information on the shootings is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

A surveillance video from the shooting scene shows the gunmen and their car.

A New Program Helps Immigrants Build Credit

For the more than 53 million Americans that don’t have a credit score, some large banks are introducing a new program to give them access to credit cards. Beginning this fall, JPMorgan Chase will launch a pilot initiative that will give customers the ability to take on small amounts of credit card debt based on their checking and savings history. AnnaMaria Andriotis covers credit cards for the Wall Street Journal.

“Banks will be relying on the information within people’s bank accounts to make these decisions. And banks will be sharing information. Let’s say a financial institution gets a credit card applicant that doesn’t have a credit score and doesn’t have much of a credit report. In almost every case that person will be rejected for credit. But if that bank could see the information at the bank where the person does have an account, well then that changes things,” Andriotis said.

Credit scores are an important indicator of someone’s financial risk and are used in everything from car loans, to mortgages and renting an apartment. Andriotis argued this could prove incredibly beneficial for immigrants who are often left out of traditional banking.

“The impact of not having a credit score is so far-reaching in someone’s life. It’s very difficult to get approved for a loan from a bank at a decent interest rate so you’re stuck at this corner of the market with very expensive loans,” Andriotis said.

There are other new tools geared towards immigrants to get them involved in the financial system. The mobile banking application Majority, which just launched an in-person branch in Little Havana, is focused specifically on the Latin American population in South Florida. Magnus Larsson is the company’s CEO, he came to the U.S. as an immigrant from Sweden.

“There's a lot of these hurdles ... It's just not only banking, it’s calling back home to Mom and telling her you're alive, it’s getting a job, getting a house ... It’s an overload of information,” Larsson said.

Majority markets itself as a low-cost option for immigrants who don’t have a formal credit history and want to be able to send remittances home easily.

According to Alex Sanchez, CEO and president of the Florida Bankers Association, 6% of the U.S. population remains unbanked. He argued Florida is ahead of many other states in the country when it comes to getting immigrant populations involved in the banking system, but that more work needs to be done.

“You cannot be a banker in Florida and not see the reality of what’s happening in our cities every day by the influence of immigrants," Sanchez said.

A New Program Helps Immigrants Build Credit

Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.
Chris knew he wanted to work in public radio beginning in middle school, as WHYY played in his car rides to and from school in New Jersey. He’s freelanced for All Things Considered and was a desk associate for CBS Radio News in New York City. Most recently, he was producing for Capital Public Radio’s Insight booking guests, conducting research and leading special projects at Sacramento’s NPR affiliate.