Mayor Eric Adams’ administration and Mobility Capital Finance initiate a new program that will assist migrant families with an approximate $1,000 monthly credit that has caused mixed reactions from Americans.
In New York City, Mayor Eric Adams’ administration plans to introduce a $53 million pilot program, which will hand out pre-paid credit cards to migrant families residing in the city’s hotels.
The pilot program is run by a New Jersey company, Mobility Capital Finance, and will provide asylum seekers the ability to purchase food. While migrants wait for work authorization from the federal government, they will be able to use these pre-paid credit cards to purchase food at bodegas, grocery stores, supermarkets and convenience stores. Migrants must also sign an affidavit swearing that these funds will only be spent on food or baby supplies, if they don’t use the funds appropriately they’ll be kicked out the program.
“MoCaFi looks forward to partnering with New York City to disburse funds for asylum seekers to purchase fresh, hot food,” said MoCaFi CEO and founder Wole Coaxum. “MoCaFi’s goal is to expand access to financial resources for individuals excluded from banking, such as asylum seekers, while helping the local economy.”
According to City Hall, the program will begin with a group of 500 migrant families, and it will replace the current food delivery service that feeds those families during their short-term hotel stays. The program plans on expanding soon to assist the population of migrants in New York residing in hotels, which estimates to about 15,000 people.
“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 more than $600,000 per month, or more than $7.2 million annually,” Mayor Adams spokesperson Kayla Mamelak said.
Each card will be loaded with a different amount depending on the size of the family and if they have an income. A family consisting of four members could be eligible for $1,000 per month, which equates to $35 per day. Card replenishment will occur every 28 days.
This new Adam’s initiative has caused a range of reactions from Americans. Some comments on X, show a positive response replying to journalists spreading information about the pre-paid credit cards.
“Mario, this is a lie. The cards are provided to ASYLUM SEEKERS, who are LEGALLY APPLYING FOR ASYLUM. The City is legally obligated to feed asylum seekers, but the current program, which directly pays for meals, has a lot of waste—shifting to the cards saves 7 million annually!” said Armand Domalewski on X.
Others have shown disdain for how the US is dealing with the migrant problem.
“So migrants come first, and New Yorkers are not even considered. Imagine what $1,000 a month would do for some families in NY right now,” said Larry D. Jones Jr. on X.
US politicians have also viewed this initiative in a negative light.
“This is ridiculous,” said Eric Schmitt, US Senator of Missouri on X.