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New York City Launches $53 Million Pilot Program Handing Out Prepaid Debit Cards to Illegal Immigrants

  • March 27, 2024
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New York City authorities have begun distributing prepaid debit cards to migrant families residing in the Big Apple.

The first round of debit cards, intended for use by illegal immigrants to buy food and baby supplies, was distributed to a few migrant families in the city on Monday, the New York mayor’s office confirmed. Eric Adams at Fox News Digital.

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

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

Prepaid cards can only be used at bodegas, grocery stores, supermarkets and convenience stores. Migrants eligible for the program must sign a declaration saying they will only spend the funds on food and baby supplies, or they could lose access to the funds, Adams’ office said.

Additionally, the mayor’s office confirmed that the pilot program was launched in a phased manner, starting with just a few hotels. City officials noted that the cards would be loaded with a week’s worth of funds at a time and their use would be monitored.

The cards are apparently being distributed at the city’s arrival center, the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan, to migrant families staying in hotels used as emergency shelters. New York-based Mobility Capital Finance partnered with the city to manage the program.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, a City Hall spokesperson stressed that New York was “excited” to launch the initiative, describing it as a “cost-saving measure [qui] will replace the current system of providing non-perishable food boxes to migrant families staying in hotels, much of which is often thrown away.”

“Much of our success is due to our constant work to find new ways to better serve the hundreds of individuals and families arriving every day, as well as the homeless New Yorkers who are already in care,” he said. declared the spokesperson. “That’s why we’re excited to launch an innovative, cost-effective pilot program with Mobility Capital Finance to distribute prepaid cards to migrant families to purchase baby food and supplies only. »

“Not only will this allow families to purchase fresh foods suited to their cultural diet and the baby supplies of their choice, but the pilot program is also expected to save more than $600,000 per month and $7 million per year for New York City taxpayers,” the spokesperson added. “Prepaid cards can be used exclusively at selected stores to ensure money is spent on baby food and supplies. »

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

According to the state’s website, single households are eligible for up to $291 per month in SNAP benefits intended to provide money to “low-income workers, seniors, the disabled and others » to buy food products.