NYC Launches Program Giving Illegal Immigrants Prepaid Credit Cards

Mayor Eric Adams’ administration will soon begin handing out prepaid credit cards to illegal immigrant families being put up in New York City hotels.

According to city records, the $53 million program, run by the New Jersey company Mobility Capital Finance, will provide illegal immigrants arriving at the Roosevelt Hotel with the city cash on a prepaid card to help them buy food.

The pilot program will operate like New York’s food assistance program, and illegal immigrant families can only use prepaid credit cards at grocery stores, convenience stores, and supermarkets. The cards will be refilled every 28 days, and families have to sign an affidavit promising to spend the credit card funds only on food and baby supplies. Funds on the credit cards will vary depending on the size of the family, but a family of four could receive up to $1,000 a month.

According to the Adams administration, the program will save New York City taxpayers money as the government hopes to expand the prepaid credit card program to all illegal immigrant families in the city, which is an estimated 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 million annually,” said Kayla Mamelak, a spokeswoman for Mayor Adams.

New Jersey company Mobility Capital Finance has partnered with the city to run the program.

“MoCaFi looks forward to partnering with New York City to disburse funds for asylum seekers to purchase fresh, hot food. MoCaFi’s goal is to expand access to financial resources for individuals excluded from banking, such as asylum seekers while helping the local economy,” said MoCaFi CEO and founder Wole Coaxum.

Since 2022, more than 150,000 illegal migrants have arrived in New York City, overwhelming city resources as officials have struggled to find housing for them. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has bused immigrants to other sanctuary jurisdictions and has also highlighted the crisis that border communities face daily.

Residents and critics of the community, however, have said that New York City’s sanctuary policies and handouts to migrants will only encourage more immigration.

“If I were promoting an event and wanted to attract the biggest possible crowd without worrying about losing money, I’d make admission free and give everyone complimentary pizza and beer. That’s kinda immigration policy right now,” Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, a Tennessee Republican and former WWE wrestler, posted on X.