The migrant crisis that has been impacting the entire nation continues to leave its mark on the Empire State.

According to NPR, more than 175,000 migrants have made their way from the US Southern Border to New York, and more than 450,000 undocumented immigrants have lived in New York since 2019. With bus and train loads of migrants arriving in New York every day, that number does not seem like it will be decreasing anytime soon.

With this crisis set to cost taxpayers more than $12 billion during the current fiscal year, officials are seeking ways to not only stem the tide of migrants entering New York but also control the costs associated with caring for them.

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Today, officials in New York must provide housing and food for the migrants. Currently, prepackaged meals are being provided to the migrants. Unfortunately, according to a report from the New York Post, thousands of meals are thrown away daily. To help make things more efficient, officials have decided to give migrants a prepaid debit card allowing them to buy food of their own choosing.

Debit Card For Migrants Program To Cost New Yorkers Millions

Under the new debit card program, migrant families will receive a prepaid card with approx. ~$13 per day per migrant, deposited every 28 days. A migrant family of four would have access to more than $1,000 of available money per month to spend on food and other essential supplies like diapers.

We will provide pre-paid debit cards to an initial 500 migrant families with children who may use the pre-paid cards exclusively at bodegas, grocery stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores to ensure the money is spent on food and baby supplies.
-Eric Adams, Mayor of New York, NY

This debit card program is starting out as a pilot and will include approximately 500 migrant families. Phase one of the program is set to cost taxpayers at least $53 million. The cards are not SNAP/EBT cards but debit cards that will have the Mastercard logo on them.

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While this program is set to cost more than $50 million, officials state that it will actually save New Yorkers more than $7 million per year due to the reduction in food being wasted.

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