NYC Distributes $53 Million in Prepaid Debit Cards to Undocumented Immigrants

New York City is providing pre-paid debit cards to illegal immigrants to spend at local bodegas, with a $53 million, city-funded program. Families will receive up to $1,000 monthly, and the cards are reported to only work at certain types of stores. Mayor Eric Adams’ office says the program will save money, as an alternative to providing meals in hotels where families are staying. The $53 million program is a pilot effort offered to about 500 illegal immigrant families but could expand to roughly 15,000. Recipients must sign an affidavit swearing to use the money only for food and baby supplies, or risk being removed from the program. Opponents question the need for such a program, with one critic suggesting that the money would be better spent on city residents.