56% of Residents Face Poverty as $53M Goes to Migrant Debit Cards

(DailyVantage.com) – Despite admitting that the city is in dire need of funds to continue to support the thousands of migrants that have entered and stayed in New York City over the last several months, NYC Mayor Eric Adams unveiled a plan to distribute debit cards to migrants in the city.

The plan would see around 500 migrant families receive as much as $1,440 per month in stipends, divided into increments of around $13 per day. The money would be distributed through prepaid debit cards. The cards can only be used to pay for food and baby supplies. The proposal is planned to be rolled out in phases, with the pilot program covering the 500 families, with plans to further expand the number of beneficiaries if the program is successful.

Mobility Capital Finance will be the contractor for the initiative and will be the issuer of the cards. No card will be allowed to hold more than $10,000 at a time.

The plan has received widespread criticism not only from Republican politicians but also from regular New Yorkers who feel the crush of the city’s immensely high cost of living. Speaking to Spectrum News, Elizabeth Azadi, who lives in Midtown, not far from the Roosevelt Hotel where many migrants have been sheltered, said that the city needs to take care of its own citizens first before looking to the welfare of “others that are illegal essentially,” she said. “They don’t have their paperwork,” she added.

Azadi also said that with poverty and homelessness for regular New Yorkers is on the rise, the additional resources the city wants to use for migrants could be diverted elsewhere, spending on the city’s own populace and other city projects, as well as help those “who are truly neglected,” Azadi told the news outlet.

Concerns have also been raised over Mayor Adams’ exercise of his authority to approve the issuer for the debit cards, a process that did not undergo the standard public bidding. City Councilmember Gale Brewer has called for an investigation into the $53 million contract the city has entered with Mobility Capital Finance for the latter to serve as the issuer of the debit cards.

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