New York City expands migrant debit card program

New York City officials are dramatically expanding a controversial program that gives debit cards pre-loaded with cash to migrant families staying in taxpayer-funded hotels across the city.

The Adams administration says another round of debit cards is expected to be distributed to more than 7,300 migrants over the next six months, costing the city about $2.6 million. The move represents a major expansion of a pilot program that began earlier this year that doled out cards to about 3,000 migrants. 

New York City Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom says the program allows newly arriving families the ability to "make choices for themselves and their children" by using debit cards. 

"They can buy from local shops, support small businesses, and manage their own resources," she said in a statement. "When we empower people, we help them achieve self-sufficiency and access the American Dream."

human hands close-up photography by Van Tay Media is licensed under Unsplash
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