‘Outrageous’: Texas Governor Slams NYC Mayor Over Pre-Paid Credit Cards for Migrants

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (Getty Images)
February 5, 2024

Texas governor Greg Abbott (R.) slammed New York City mayor Eric Adams’s plan to give migrant families pre-paid credit cards, amid an unprecedented surge in illegal crossings at the U.S. southern border. 

"It sounds like insanity is behind it because it really is offensive, it may be the most reprehensible thing that I’ve seen take place over the past 48 hours," Abbott said during a Sunday appearance on Fox Business, after the mayor announced a $53 million program on Friday to help migrants pay for food with pre-paid credit cards. 

"What’s going on in New York is outrageous," Abbott added, "and Americans across the country are angry, not just about what’s going on in New York, but the underlying cause for it, which is Joe Biden’s open border policies." 

The program will start with 500 migrant families staying at the Roosevelt Hotel but may be expanded to cover the roughly 15,000 migrant families housed in the city’s hotels if the plan is deemed successful, city officials said

The families can only use the credit cards at grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, and bodegas. Those who are caught purchasing anything other than food and baby supplies will be removed from the program.

The amount on the cards depends on factors such as family size and income level, and the cards will get refilled every 28 days. A family of four will likely get about $1,000 each month, or $35 per day, according to the New York Post.

Adams’s spokeswoman Kayla Mamelak said the program will enable migrants to "purchase fresh food for their culturally relevant diets and the baby supplies of their choosing" and claimed it will save the city more than $7.2 million each year. The city had been providing migrants with meals that cost about $11 each. 

Adams rolled out the program just days after migrants beat two police officers in Times Square. The assailants were later released without bail. Two of the migrants were recorded giving the middle finger to reporters as they left police custody. 

Abbott has frequently clashed with Adams and the Biden administration over the migrant crisis. Since early 2022, Abbott has bused more than 33,600 migrants to the Big Apple, prompting Adams to file a lawsuit in January against 17 Texas charter bus companies to recoup the $708 million the mayor said the city has incurred.

Abbott has also lashed out at President Joe Biden for refusing to help solve the border crisis. After the Supreme Court ruled last month that the Biden administration could continue to cut razor wire Texas installed on its border with Mexico, the governor said, "Texas will not back down from our efforts to secure the border in Biden’s absence."