Council Member: NYC Mayor's Debit Cards for Migrants a 'Clear Incentive

New York City tests financial support for migrant families.

by Nouman Rasool
Council Member: NYC Mayor's Debit Cards for Migrants a 'Clear Incentive
© Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has put forth an allegedly contentious program that would provide prepaid debit cards to migrants in the city in yet another bold move that is rocking intense debates. Critics say that this could have a incendiary effect, drawing more migrants to a city already struggling with capacity issues.

While he has said New York is "full," critics note that this would send a mixed signal. City Council Member Vickie Palacedino had also told Fox News Digital, really showing the paradox the city had set out on. "The message that we're distributing these cards completely contradicts our statements of the city being 'full'

The migrants candidly said the financial aid is one that you cannot really say 'no' to and is one of those key components for their attraction to New York. We cannot really run away from that fact," said Paladino. Her criticism followed the announcement by the mayor on Tuesday of a $53 million initiative to support migrants with costs that may include food and childcare supplies.

Migrant Aid Pilot

A family with young kids would get a maximum of $350 within the week according to the plan; it argues this is an amount that can cater to their basic sustenance. The pilot project will target only a small fraction of over 64,000 migrants currently under the care of the city administration in order to observe the efficacy of the program.

This would seem in contradiction to Mayor Adams' previous statements, which seemed to have concluded that there is, indeed, an absolute limit to the city's ability to house any more migrants. Reports from July last year, however, quoted Adams saying, 'There's an absolute capacity limit—a position that would appear at odds with the current approach.

The action on the debit card program, however, has not only set off political discourse but sounded concerns over a much broader social reverberation. Palable were the rising crime rates which had come along with the migrants whom she was referring to as issues that set well in the district.

From petty thefts to burglary, the surge in crime ascribed to the migrants is alarming and paints a really pessimistic picture of the security landscape of the city. In defending the program, a spokesman for Mayor Adams had pointed to the administration's dedication to serving both the new arrivals and those already in existence but grappling with homeless challenges.

The mayor himself has been on record stating that, with the initiative, there will be prudent use of finances, with him even predicting huge savings in the costs of feeding.

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