New York City to hand out pre-paid credit cards to migrants
Fox News national correspondent Bryan LLenas has the latest on how the Big Apple is responding to the migrant influx on ‘America Reports.’
The City of Chicago announced on Tuesday that it has partnered with community groups and nonprofits to invested nearly $18 million in Black and brown businesses to feed illegal migrants.
According to city officials, by the end of 2023, the Food Depository’s 17 contracted restaurants and caterers were serving 18,000 daily hot meals across 21 shelter sites to illegal migrants.
“We believe food is a basic human right and our mission is to end hunger,” Kate Maehr, executive director and CEO of the Food Depository, said in a press release. “Achieving our mission means we provide food for anyone who needs support today, while creating solutions to address the root causes of hunger – poverty, systemic inequity and structural racism. Our work to feed new arrivals gave us the opportunity to meet an urgent demand while creating economic impact and living wage jobs.
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson thanked everyone for their involvement in the project as well.
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A group of migrants receives food outside the migrant landing zone during a winter storm on January 12, 2024, in Chicago. (KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
“I actually think it’s quite fitting that we are in this wonderful small business because it has been Black and brown small businesses that have stepped up in this moment, in this crisis, to respond to these families who are arriving here,” Johnson said, according to Fox 32.
From 2022 to 2023, there was a 14% increase in the number of Chicago families and individuals accessing shelters across the City, according to a report by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
According to the data from the 2023 report, there are currently more than 68,000 homeless people in the city – an increase of nearly 3,000 from the previous year.
The increase in the number of people without a place to live also comes as housing prices are soaring and costs for essentials like food and transportation are rising.
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Recently arrived migrants in a makeshift shelter operated by the city of Chicago at O’Hare International Airport on Aug. 31, 2023. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Chicago and other large cities like New York, that have designated themselves as “sanctuary cities,” have been bombarded with migrants after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and others started bussing migrants to the cities.
The Democratic mayors have been quick to complain that the strain on their cities’ resources has been too great.
Last week, New York City announced it will soon be launching a $53 million pilot program to hand out pre-paid credit cards to migrant families housed in hotels.
Under the pilot program, migrants will be getting 40% more than the state gives to low-income and elderly New Yorkers under SNAP benefits.
Each migrant would receive about $350 a month to spend on food and baby supplies. As noted by Newsweek, that’s more than the maximum allotment that low-income New York residents receive in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. According to the state’s website, single households are eligible for up to $291 a month in SNAP benefits aimed at providing “low-income working people, senior citizens, the disabled and others” money to buy food products.
The migrant pilot program also hands out more than two times the amount the state gives monthly in services for single veterans, Fox News’s Bryan Llenas reported.
This announcement comes after New York City pledged a $77 million emergency hotel contract to shelter migrant families in early January.
NYC Housing Preservation and Development press secretary William Fowler confirmed the contract to Fox News Digital.
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A group of migrants who arrived on a bus from Texas over the summer are given cheeseburgers as they prepare to take a CTA bus to a Salvation Army shelter in Chicago. Another bus left Texas for Chicago on Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott said. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
“New York City has led the nation in responding to this national humanitarian crisis, providing compassion, care, shelter, and vital services to more than 170,700 migrants who have come through our care since spring 2022,” Fowler stated. “Thanks to around-the-clock work of city workers, we’ve ensured every single family with children has a bed to sleep in and a roof over their heads, while working to reduce costs and help people move out of shelter and stabilize their lives. This contract allows the city to negotiate competitive rates as we continue responding to this unprecedented crisis.”
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Fowler added that the contract formalizes ongoing work between HPD and the Hotel Association of New York since July 2023 to provide shelter to asylum seekers as part of the city’s response to the migrant crisis.