New York City begins giving illegal immigrants prepaid debit cards as part of $53 million pilot program

Posted 18 days ago


Officials in New York City have begun giving out prepaid debit cards to migrant families residing in the Big Apple.

The first batch of debit cards, which are reportedly meant to be used by the illegal immigrants to purchase food and baby supplies, were handed out Monday to a handful of migrant families in the city, New York City Mayor Eric Adams' office confirmed to Fox News Digital.

The effort is part of a reported $53 million pilot program to hand out prepaid credit cards to migrant families housed in hotels despite public outcry.

The program, which the mayor's office confirmed will provide migrant families of four with two children under 5 with up to $350 each week until the end of their stay, began with a limited number of families on Monday and will expand to about 115 families, or roughly 460 people, over the next week.

The prepaid cards may only be used at bodegas, grocery stores, supermarkets and convenience stores. Migrants eligible for the program must sign an affidavit stating they will only spend the funds on food and baby supplies, or else they could lose access to the funds, Adams' office said.

Additionally, the mayor's office confirmed that the pilot program was launched using a phased approach, starting with only a few hotels. City officials have noted that the cards will be loaded with one week's worth of funds at a time and that their use would be monitored.

The cards are reportedly being distributed at the city’s arrival center, the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan, to the migrant families who are staying at hotels that are being used as emergency shelters.

New Jersey company Mobility Capital Finance has partnered with the city to run the program.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, a city hall spokesperson noted that New York City was "excited" about launching the effort, describing it as a "cost-saving measure [that] will replace the city’s current system of providing non-perishable food boxes to migrant families staying in hotels, much of which is often discarded."

"A large part of our success is due to our constant work to find new ways to better serve the hundreds of individuals and families arriving every single day, as well as the longtime New Yorkers experiencing homelessness who are already in our care," the spokesperson said. "That is why we are excited to launch an innovative, cost-saving pilot program with Mobility Capital Finance to distribute pre-paid cards to migrant families to purchase only food and baby supplies."

"Not only will this provide families with the ability to purchase fresh food for their culturally-relevant diets and the baby supplies of their choosing, but the pilot program is expected to save New York City taxpayers more than $600,000 per month and $7 million per year," the spokesperson added. "The prepaid cards can be used exclusively at select stores to ensure the money is spent on food and baby supplies."

Under the pilot program, which is expected to last for six weeks, migrants could receive more money from the city than the state gives to low-income and elderly New Yorkers under SNAP benefits.... (Read more)