walking ATM
n. An illegal immigrant or migrant worker who is frequently robbed because they have no bank account and so must carry all their cash.
The problem is nationwide, stated the Southern Poverty Law Center. In a 2009 study, the center said that less than half of undocumented immigrants had confidence in law enforcement and that criminals saw them as "walking ATMs."
—Jay Meisel, “Prosecuting crimes against migrants,” Highlands Today, April 05, 2015
Damian estimates that at least two-thirds of the people here are undocumented, and that has made it a magnet for robberies over the years. Gangs know undocumented day workers are especially lucrative targets, he says. Their pockets are often stuffed with a day's or even a week's worth of wages. The street term for these men: "walking ATMs."
—Laura Sullivan, “Police, Banks Help Undocumented Workers Shake 'Walking ATM' Label,” NPR, January 20, 2014
Since many undocumented immigrants are unable to open bank accounts, they are often forced to carry large amounts of cash, making them susceptible [to] crime or, as Cruz-Takash called it, "walking ATMs."
—Aaron Sankin, “Undocumented Immigrant Debit Cards: Oakland Introduces Landmark New Program,” The Huffington Post, February 26, 2013
2006 (earliest)
Majodina says the commission has conducted "countless" workshops with police in Gauteng, but guidelines for handling people thought to be foreigners continue to be ignored. "Unfortunately, some police officers regard these people as walking ATMs and so they are sucked into a corrupt cycle because it is easier to pay and be let out of the police van than be carted off to a police station."
—“Racism under the colour of law enforcement,” Business Day, May 26, 2006
Camby and his friends, family and associates dispute Lounsbury's assertion that he gave only when Camby asked. "The guy was a walking ATM machine," says ProServ's Alex Johnson, Camby's agent. "He was giving out money to anyone he thought could help him land Marcus. No one had to ask for anything."
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