New York City’s contract with an inexperienced bank to provide debit cards to asylum seekers could cost up to $10,000 per migrant, according to a new report.
Democratic Mayor Eric Adams has said the pilot program would begin with 500 families housed at the Roosevelt Hotel immigrant shelter and would cost $52 million. It was supposed to save money by allowing immigrants to buy their own food and baby supplies, which officials said would save $600,000 a month and $7.2 million a year.
But, in reality, the fine print of the contract leaves open the option for the program to become an indefinite, multi-million dollar agreement, as reported The New York Post.
The $53 million is not the total cost, but only the fee that Mobility Capital Finance (MoCaFi) will receive for its services, as explicitly stated in the contract. In fact, the City Council has given itself the flexibility to spend at least $2.5 billion on prepaid debit cards over a year.
The contract allocates up to $10,000 per migrant, with no identity verification or fraud checks, although the City Council has said it will have immigrants sign an affidavit promising to use the card only for food and baby items.
Mayor Eric Adams has said the program would cost $52 million. But the fine print of the contract leaves open the option for the program to become a multimillion-dollar deal.
The debit card program is the City Council’s latest controversial measure to address the current immigration crisis.
Adams said earlier this month that he met with MoCaFi founder, former JPMorgan Chase CEO Wole Coaxum (pictured), during the election campaign.
To make matters worse, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development also 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 that MoCaFi was “referred to HPD by the City Council.”
Adams said earlier this month that he met with MoCaFi founder, former JPMorgan Chase CEO Wole Coaxum, during the election campaign.
But MoCaFi has no experience running these types of programs; Instead, the company typically focuses on third-party prepaid debit cards and bank accounts that are marketed to minorities.
Coaxum is a big supporter of universal basic income and left-wing banking, he said, when the 2014 murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson inspired him to serve the “unbanked.”
DailyMail.com has contacted City Hall for comment on this story.
The debit card program is the City Council’s latest controversial measure in its fight against the current immigration crisis.
Adams has said the pilot program would begin with 500 families housed at the Roosevelt Hotel immigrant shelter and would cost $52 million.
More than 170,000 immigrants have arrived in the city since spring 2022
More than 170,000 migrants have arrived in the city since spring 2022 and the crisis is only deepening as they continue to be bused from Texas, where record numbers are crossing the border.
Adams confessed to Fox 5’s Rosanna Scotto earlier this week that “we’re getting close to 2,500 to a maximum of 4,000 a week.”
‘What happens when there is no more space?’ Scotto asked at one point in the interview, during which the 63-year-old Brownsville native sat across from her, in front of several American flags and a New York flag.
“We weren’t just saying we ran out of space as a comment,” Adams responded, citing the more than 161,000 immigrants who have arrived and sought help from the city since spring 2022.
“We have literally run out of space,” declared the Democrat. “People will end up sleeping on the streets.”
Meanwhile, it was revealed earlier this year that a record number of migrants crossed the US southern border in December, surpassing the highest number under President Biden.
Republicans have seized on border security issues as a major 2024 election issue, becoming a political headache for President Biden.
Meanwhile, New York has recently seen a wave of highly publicized cases of crimes committed by asylum seekers.
A violent confrontation between NYPD officers and migrants at the city’s Randall’s Island shelter center
In one of the most viral incidents last month, three New York police officers were beaten by a group of immigrants in Times Square and left with minor injuries.
In another case, a 15-year-old Venezuelan migrant opened fire in a sneaker store during an attempted robbery.
He was arrested and charged as an adult after the bullet hit a Brazilian tourist and he continued shooting at police while fleeing.
Additionally, last week one person was arrested following a violent confrontation between NYPD officers and migrants in the city’s downtown Randall’s Island; The chaos was captured on video.
It was the latest in a series of violent attacks since Randall’s Island began housing migrants in August 2023, as New York struggled to house large numbers of people arriving from other states.
Last month, a 24-year-old man was stabbed to death on the island while waiting in line for food.