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IPFS News Link • New York

NYC's migrant debit cards are 'costing far more than Eric Adams claims' and are propped.


New York City's contract with an inexperienced bank to hand out debit cards to asylum seekers could cost as much as $10,000 per migrant, according to a new report.

Democrat mayor Eric Adams has claimed the pilot program would start with 500 families staying at The Roosevelt Hotel migrant shelter and cost $52million. It was supposed to save money by allowing migrants to buy their own food and baby supplies, which officials say will save $600,000 per month and $7.2 million annually.

But, in reality, the contract's fine-print leaves the option open for the program to become an open-ended, multi-billion-dollar deal, as reported by The New York Post.

The $53million is not the total cost - rather, it is only the fee that Mobility Capital Finance (MoCaFi) will receive for its services, as explicitly stated in the contract. City Hall has actually given itself the flexibility to disburse at least $2.5 billion on the pre-paid debit cards over a year.

The contract allots up to $10,000 per migrant, with no ID check or fraud control - although City Hall has said they will make the migrants sign an affidavit promising only to use card for food and baby supplies. 

To make matters worse, the city's Housing Preservation & Development also reportedly did not go through the usual competitive bidding process before awarding the job to Mobility Capital Finance (MoCaFi).

As the Post notes, the contract for the pilot program says MoCaFi was 'referred to HPD by City Hall.' 

Adams said earlier this month that he met MoCaFi's founder, former JPMorgan Chase managing director Wole Coaxum, in the campaign trail.