NYC Mayor Adams Doubles Down On Migrant Debit Card Program

FILE — New York Mayor Eric Adams speaks during the press conference at Harlem Hospital after the shooting of a New York City Police Department officer, in Harlem, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, in New York. Adams is set to propose Wednesday, April 20, that the city spend $4.8 million to reach out to those most impacted by the so-called war on drugs. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura File)

A pilot program to distribute preloaded debit cards to migrants for food and baby supplies is just that: a pilot and trial run, New York City officials said Tuesday amid backlash to that effort.

“We can take a look at it after six weeks and see what’s working and what’s not,” Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom said at a wide-ranging news conference.

The prepaid cards are intended to be used for groceries, diapers, baby formula and other necessities at local businesses. They’ve invited the condemnation by right-wing news media as simply another benefit for people who entered the country illegally and for the hefty contract involved in the rollout.

Mayor Eric Adams and top aides also stressed that safeguards are in place to prevent fraud. They said the program saves the city money and prevents food waste.

The program launched Monday with 10 families and the pilot will expand to 115 families. Families of four getting $350 each week on their cards.

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