April 13, 2024

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New York begins offering prepaid debit cards to immigrants

New York begins offering prepaid debit cards to immigrants
The Adams administration finally launched its controversial prepaid debit card program on Monday. Stephen Yang

The Adams administration this week introduced a plan to offer prepaid debit cards to immigrants in New York City, two months after signing a controversial $53 million no-bid agreement for the deal.

By New York Post

Employees of New Jersey company Mobility Capital Finance issued eight MasterCards at the Roosevelt Hotel on Monday as part of its pilot program, which will expand to 115 cards next week, a City Hall spokeswoman said.

The one-year deal came under fire after The Post first revealed that the deal was signed without a regular bidding process.

According to the deal, the program will be a boon for the tech startup, offering the potential to earn $1.8 million by reducing the funds loaded on each MasterCard.

The administration scaled back the original plan, which would have loaded the cards with a month's worth of cash for food and baby items. Now the money should be replenished every week.

A family with two parents and children under five will receive about $350 a week, the spokesman said.

The Post was unable to locate any immigrant families who had received the cards on Monday. Even the staff at the Roosevelt Hotel said they didn't know the cards had been delivered.

As the City Council assesses its success, the pilot program will cover about 460 of the 64,500 immigrants in the city's care.

“This cost-saving measure will replace the city's current practice of providing boxes of non-perishable food to immigrant families staying in hotels, many of which are often thrown away,” Adams spokeswoman Kayla Mamalek said.

See also  China says the situation with Taiwan will "become more complicated" by 2022 and warns of "drastic measures" if the island moves towards independence.

City Hall says a new process for feeding asylum seekers could save up to $600,000 a month.

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