Mass Migration

NYC Council Divided on Prepaid Debit Card Program for Migrants

Main image to the post NYC Council Divided on Prepaid Debit Card Program for Migrants

New York City Leaders Debate Prepaid Debit Card Program for Migrants

New York City Council members are divided on Mayor Eric Adams' administration's decision to distribute prepaid debit cards to migrant families. While the Mayor's office claims the program will save the city money, some lawmakers argue it will attract more migrants to the city.

Councilman Robert Holden, a Democrat from Queens, criticized the program, calling it unsustainable and arguing that it will worsen the migrant crisis. He pointed out that his borough houses the most migrant shelters in the city.

Councilman Joe Borelli, the top Republican on the council, said that Democrats are realizing the consequences of their sanctuary city policies. He argued that American cities cannot be the world's refugee camp.

Councilwoman Julie Won, a Democrat from Queens, defended the program, saying it gives migrants freedom and allows them to avoid "rotten" food provided by city contractors. She argued that all migrants under the city's care should receive such assistance.

Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom defended the administration's decision, calling on the federal government to process more asylum applications. She said the program helps save taxpayer dollars, invest in the local economy, and empower migrants.

Some residents, however, questioned why shelters are being built in underserved areas. A city spokesperson responded that the debit card program only covers a small fraction of migrants and that the city is obligated to provide housing to those who are homeless. They also noted that migrants are not eligible for federal food stamp benefits.

The debate over the prepaid debit card program highlights the ongoing challenges faced by New York City as it grapples with the influx of migrants.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09