A free preloaded debit card is not “free money”

“New York City mayor defends migrant debit card program as cost efficient and fraud resistant” (Politico):

The prepaid cards are intended to be used for groceries, diapers, baby formula and other necessities at local businesses. They’ve invited the condemnation by right-wing news media as simply another benefit for people who entered the country illegally and for the hefty contract involved in the rollout.

“There is no free money. These are not ATM cards. You can’t take cash out,” Deputy Mayor Fabien Levy said at the news conference.

For confused seniors who fall prey to all manner of online scams it would be great to have a credit or debit card that could be used only for certain categories of purchases. Last I checked, though, this capability was not available to individual consumers. How did the NYC migrantcrats manage to accomplish it? It seems that a “card program” can be designed in which the cards are limited by merchant category code (MCC, as explained by Stripe). What if a migrant goes to Walmart or 2SLGBTQQIA+-friendly Target and a wide range of products are available? NY1:

The city said the debit cards for new arrivals can only be used at supermarkets, bodegas and at grocery stores, with migrants being required to sign an affidavit that it would only be used for food and baby supplies.

So… the taxpayer-funded cards are “free”, but they’re not “free money.”

Happy April Fools’ Day, especially if you’re a taxpayer!

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No human is illegal, but some buses are

“In Bid to Slow Migrant Surge, Adams Restricts Bus Arrivals Into New York” (NYT):

Mayor Eric Adams placed limits for the first time on Wednesday on how migrants arrive in New York, pushing back against continuing efforts by the governor of Texas to send tens of thousands of asylum seekers to the city.

In an executive order, Mr. Adams required charter bus companies to provide 32 hours’ advance notice of the arrival of a busload of migrants in the city and limited the times of day at which migrants can be dropped off.

The change, a year and a half into a crisis that has consumed the Adams administration, comes after 14 busloads of migrants arrived from Texas in a single night last week, the highest total recorded since the spring of 2022.

“We cannot allow buses with people needing our help to arrive without warning at any hour of day and night,” Mr. Adams said during a virtual news conference with the mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson, and the mayor of Denver, Mike Johnston. “To be clear, this is not stopping people from coming, but about ensuring the safety of migrants and making sure they can arrive in a coordinated and orderly way.”

Companies that violate the executive order face class B misdemeanor charges, which could result in three months in jail and a $500 fine for individuals and a $2,000 fine for corporations. Buses violating the order may also be seized by the Police Department.

Under the terms of the executive order, buses can unload migrants only between 8:30 a.m. and 12 p.m., Monday through Friday. People must be dropped off at a specified location in the Times Square area or another location that city officials approve.

We are informed that low-skill migrants make us richer, but the article says that 10 percent of Denver’s budget is now devoted to housing migrants.

After the City of Chicago recently instituted similar regulations on bus companies, Texas responded by sending buses to the suburbs of Chicago instead, according to Mr. Johnson.

The buses have been “literally dropping families off in the middle of nowhere,” sowing “an incredible amount of chaos,” he said.

It is unclear if Mr. Abbott will follow a similar playbook by sending buses to places outside New York City. A spokesman for Mr. Abbott did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

If that happened, Mr. Goldfein said, “that would only highlight the recklessness and total disregard for the welfare of the people who are passengers on these buses.”

I continue to be fascinated by progressives who say that Texas is a place where nobody should live, e.g., because of restrictions on abortion care, and at the same time that migrants are harmed by being provided with free transportation to Massachusetts, New York, or Illinois. Isn’t it worth a few days of sleeping in a church basement in order to enjoy a lifetime of governance by Democrats rather than suffering tyrannical Republic rule?

The New York Times ends the article by referring to becoming wealthier and culturally richer as a “crisis”:

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Should New York City hire Hamas to build tunnels?

When NYC wants to build a tunnel, it costs $3.5 billion per mile in pre-Biden money. See “The Most Expensive Mile of Subway Track on Earth” (NYT, 2017).

Here’s a recent tweet from the IDF:

At NYC prices, the 2.5-mile tunnel network would have cost nearly $9 billion to construct and we can be pretty sure that the Islamic Resistance Movement (“Hamas”) and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) did not spend anywhere near that much. This part of the video (made by Hamas) may show construction techniques:

For those who object on the grounds that Hamas and PIJ have some anti-Jewish attitudes, to judge by recent street demonstrations and domestic jihad efforts, NYC is already home to plenty of folks who want to see Israel destroyed. See, for example, How was the immigration of Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov supposed to benefit native-born Americans? and How was the immigration of Akayed Ullah supposed to benefit native-born Americans? Also, this October 8 celebration of the October 7 attacks:

Another idea for saving money and improving performance: hire Egyptians to guard the U.S. border. There are plenty of people who’d like to leave Gaza right now, I’m sure, yet the Egyptians have managed to keep them from entering Egypt via a combination of fence/wall and personnel. The U.S. has a track record of demonstrated failure in border control (hassling international airline passengers whose passports were already checked twice on departure doesn’t count, in my view). Why not replace our border patrol with Egyptian contractors and let an Egyptian company build the non-wall wall that the Biden administration is building?

Egyptians at work on their border wall:

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Statistics behind why New York City is the best destination for migrants

“New York Is Starting to Act Like a Southern Border State” (New York Times, last week):

New York City is spending $383 per family per night to house homeless new arrivals, thanks to a consent decree from a state court that requires the city to provide shelter to those who need it. [almost $12,000 per month per family; health care and food on top of this, presumably]

People who apply for asylum in New York are more likely to get it than those who apply in other places. New York immigration judges deny only 26 percent of asylum cases, compared with 92 percent in Houston and 86 percent in Miami, according to TRAC, an information clearinghouse at Syracuse University. And migrants who make it to New York are less likely to be deported. Since 2014, sanctuary city and state laws have limited cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In other words, a migrant who reaches New York City has a 74 percent chance of being awarded full legal status (asylum). If he/she/ze/they does not win the asylum status, he/she/ze/they can nonetheless stay forever in New York City, which will not cooperate with La Migra (even if La Migra were motivated to deport the average undocumented migrant).

Separately, let’s remember that, according to Science, immigrant humans are always beneficial to natives while immigrant animals are always harmful. Here’s an immigrant-removal service parked in our neighborhood:

Florida Fish and Wildlife:

The cane toad (also known as the bufo, giant or marine toad) is a large, nonnative amphibian that has been introduced into Florida. Cane toads are considered an invasive species and are poisonous to most animals that try to bite or consume them. … Cane toads also potentially compete with native frogs and toads for food and breeding areas.

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New Yorkers love migrants until they meet some

The Harvard nerds found that suburban elites in Boston loved immigrants until they believed that immigrants were living among them: “After riding with Spanish speakers, white commuters favored anti-immigration policies”.

A different set of Harvard nerds found that elites profit from a flood of low-skill migrants almost exactly to the same extent that working class Americans lose money (a $500 billion annual wealth transfer in pre-Biden money; the elites get the higher rents and pay the lower wages while the peasants pay the higher rents and receive the lower wages that Econ 101 says are inevitable with an expansion in labor supply).

These studies are being repeated in New York City right now. Elites who own hotels are making bank while residents living in non-elite neighborhoods are the ones who incur costs, such as congestion, higher rents, and lower wages related to the tiny percentage of asylum-seekers who’ve found their way to NYC.

From today’s NYT, “Migrant Crisis Tests New Yorkers Who Thought They Supported Immigration”:

[State Senator John Liu] whose senate district includes a large immigrant population, said many of the complaints about migrants were not coming from areas that have been traditionally anti-immigrant. Instead, he said, protests followed the shelters, so “even in parts of the city that tend to be very pro immigrant, many of those residents are up in arms.”

Just like their brothers, sisters, and binary-resisters in Maskachusetts, New Yorkers love undocumented immigrants… so long as none live anywhere near them.

In College Point, Queens, a working-class neighborhood near La Guardia Airport, Jennifer Shannon, 53, said she believed in helping those in need, including the women in a homeless shelter that opened there in 2019. But after a respite center for migrants opened in July, Ms. Shannon was livid.

“We just added 500 more people to a community that’s already falling apart,” she said.

During the early days of the pandemic, Ms. Shannon started a neighborhood association to support food pantries and provide meals to emergency medical workers, earning citations from Mr. Adams — who was then Brooklyn borough president — and State Senator John Liu.

But now she says the migrants have devalued life in the neighborhood.

“We have people sitting all over people’s private property, drinking, smoking marijuana, hanging out until 4 in the morning in the municipal lot, blasting music,” she said. “It’s a disgrace.”

“It’s not everybody in there. You have people who are genuinely just trying to get away from hell and make a better life for themselves. But that’s not who you see sitting in the park benches at 11 o’clock at night, with their friends, men urinating in broad daylight. That’s what we’re seeing.”

Migrants are exempt from the sacred duty of vaccination!

In Astoria, Queens, Shabbir Suhal, 40, an accountant with three children in public school, said he was alarmed by published reports of students from shelters being permitted to attend school without being immunized against polio, measles, chickenpox and other diseases. Under state law, students in temporary housing have 30 days to start the process of getting immunized.

One great part of the article, which describes roughly 100,000 people who do not work and get their housing, food, health care, education, etc. at taxpayer expense… the NYT informs us that migrants come to NYC for “generous public services” and also that New Yorkers “reject the suggestion that immigrants want handouts“. Just as free housing, food, health care, home broadband, and smartphone is not “being on welfare” (because the person enjoying these means-tested programs may not receive a direct cash transfer), a non-working person who lives in an NYC hotel at taxpayer expense does not want a “handout”.

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The sanctuary is full

“New York City Moves to Suspend Right-to-Shelter Mandate” (NYT, today):

Mayor Eric Adams is seeking to suspend New York City’s longstanding obligation to provide shelter to anyone who asks for it, as officials struggle to find housing for thousands of migrants arriving from the southern border.

On Tuesday night, Mr. Adams asked a judge to allow the city to put aside its legal obligation to provide shelter to single adults, arguing in court that the city should be able to temporarily lift the mandate during an emergency.

“With more than 122,700 asylum seekers having come through our intake system since the spring of 2022, and projected costs of over $12 billion for three years, it is abundantly clear that the status quo cannot continue,” Mr. Adams said in a statement.

In a letter to Erika Edwards, a New York Supreme Court justice, the city’s lawyers asked for the 1981 consent decree that requires the city to provide shelter to be temporarily suspended. They also asked for the rules to be suspended whenever the governor or mayor declares a state of emergency and there is an influx of people seeking shelter.

Poor native-born New Yorkers, in other words, would lose their right to shelter because elite New Yorkers offered sanctuary to migrants and then migrants accepted the offer. Also, why is the requested suspension “temporary”? Venezuela is not going to run out of people who want to come to the U.S., right? (see When will there be more Venezuelans in the U.S. than in Venezuela?)

I still can’t figure out why NYC is having trouble parking newcomers. “NYC lost 5.3% of its population — nearly a half-million people — since COVID, with most heading South” (New York Post, May 2023).

More from the New York City elites, quoted in the above-cited NYT article:

A top aide to Mr. Adams, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, recently called on the federal government to “close the borders.” Mr. Adams sought to distance himself from those comments on Tuesday, reiterating his position that the border should not be closed, but that migrants should be sent to other cities.

Separately, a neighbor provides sanctuary for those who identify as witches…

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Where do New Yorkers think that migrants should go?

“Hochul issues dire warning to migrants coming to NY: ‘We are truly out of space’” (New York Post):

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday warned that New York is “at capacity,” and urged newly arrived migrants to settle someplace else — as the Biden administration cleared the way for Venezuelan migrants to get work permits.

Hochul told NY1 that granting temporary protected status to and expediting work permits for thousands of Venezuelans who entered the US before July 31 is “an important first step” in getting expedited work status for all migrants.

But the governor warned that New York is “at capacity” and suggested that migrants who have arrived since July 31 consider other cities to settle in.

“We have to let people know that if you’re thinking of coming to New York, we are truly out of space,” she said.

“The mayor has done an extraordinary job managing this crisis situation. We have been partners in helping him, but there must be other cities that do not have upwards of 125,000 people, over 60,000 in shelters, that can handle the volume easier in other states.”

The politician reminds us of the Scientific truth that low-skill migrants make existing Americans richer:

“We have to have more workers, and this is going to be a very, very positive development for our state’s economy, for these individuals and our desire to start not opening more shelters, but starting to shut down shelters,” she added.

Question 1: Why do New Yorkers want to transfer their migrant wealth to other cities/states?

Question 2: Where exactly do New Yorkers think that migrants should go?

From Gov. Hochul’s own site:

It is strange that the word “crisis” is used to describe a phenomenon that makes existing New Yorkers wealthier (at least the elites), reduces crime, etc. We don’t usually say it is a “crisis” when we are becoming better off.

Related… “Will Work Authorization Draw More Venezuelan Migrants to the U.S.?” (New York Times):

The news that the Biden administration would grant work permits to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan migrants who had already entered the United States was welcomed by Democratic leaders from cities overwhelmed with a large influx of migrants unable to work legally.

The hope is that the move will let many Venezuelans make enough money to move out of shelters, where the cost of housing them is straining big cities, especially New York. But could it end up backfiring by attracting even more Venezuelan migrants to cross the border?

The newspaper informs us that low-skill migrants make existing Americans better off. Why would it be “backfiring” if we end up with more migrants and become “more better” off?

Yordano Negren, 28, a hair stylist from Valencia who arrived about three weeks ago and has been staying in a Midtown shelter, said that more migrants would mean more competition for jobs.

“I imagine that it will bring many more Venezuelans here to New York,” he said. “But there are already too many Venezuelans here looking for work, trying to start a new life. Too many Venezuelans, too many Haitians, too many Dominicans. Everyone is looking for work, and this change is just going to bring more people.”

Mr. Negren agrees with the Harvard economists and César Chávez:

In the mid-70s, Chávez launched what he called the Illegals Campaign, an effort to raise awareness about illegal immigration and report undocumented workers to federal authorities.

”The idea was – much like we’ve heard today – ‘Well, the Border Patrol isn’t doing a good job at keeping people from crossing illegally. So we’re going to have to go out and do it ourselves,’ “ Pawel said.

The most intense aspects of this informal effort, however, did not take place in the form of secret phone calls to the government; they took place right along the border. In an effort led by César’s cousin Manuel Chávez, reports began to emerge of Mexican immigrants being threatened, beaten and robbed as they tried to cross over into the United States.

At one point, the patrol operation was so large, it employed 300 people and cost the UFW $80,000 a week.

To Chávez, the civil rights era leader who swore nonviolence, any influx of foreign labor represented a threat to the farmworkers’ movement. The people who crossed the border illegally were in search of a better life. But they were also scabs, willing to do the jobs that American farmworkers were organizing to improve.

“All of a sudden yesterday morning, they brought in 220 wetbacks – these are the illegals from Mexico,” Chávez said in an interview with KQED in the ‘70s. “There’s no way to defend against that kind of strikebreaking.”

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It’s a “crisis” when more than 1/500th of the nation’s undocumented migrants settle in New York City

Back in 2016, approximately 22 million undocumented migrants lived in the U.S. (Yale study, published 2018). Let’s assume that today’s undocumented migrant population is closer to 30 million. From the August 31 New York Times… “As Migrant Crisis Worsens, New York Leaders Pressure Biden to Do More”:

A broad coalition of civic, business and union leaders has come together to apply pressure on Washington to help with the migrant crisis in New York. … Washington has failed to adequately address the migrant crisis that has overwhelmed the city in recent months.

Of the 107,000 migrants who have arrived since last year, almost 60,000 are still in the city’s care. … The city has opened over 200 sites and humanitarian relief centers to house and process the migrants, which officials estimate will cost $5 billion this year, as much as the budgets for the parks, fire and sanitation departments combined.

Mr. Adams said the current flow of migrants could cost $12 billion over three years, exceeding the city’s current fiscal and physical capacity to deal with the crisis

Adams later elaborated about New York City actually being destroyed (see NYC mayor: Texas governor a “madman” for wanting to send city-destroying migrants away from Texas).

Let’s check some photos from my August 22-23, 2023 trip to Manhattan to see whether NYC is, in fact, being destroyed.

What if the migrants want to relax with some 2SLGBTQQIA+-friendly alcohol? Note the “Bud Light” at the top left of the “Open For All” rainbow neon sign.

Perhaps they prefer healing cannabis? New (“essential”) marijuana stores are opening in every neighborhood:

What about COVID? It does not make sense to move out of the crowded city when one can instead don a mask. At the Union Square Greenmarket:

What would you see if you were brave enough to enter the subway?

On any journey into the subway, we are reminded that Pfizer is taking care of us. From Grand Central Station:

Do you want to learn about the “beautiful complexities of the LGBTQIA+ experience”? A Manhattan sidewalk is the place to do it.

(It was a hater from out of town who wrote “all lie” on the sign about the three local queer artists?)

NYC still has plenty of garbage:

My friend who lives in Lower Manhattan attributes a spike in the rodent population to the “rat hotels” that restaurants have built in the street, each one raised up just enough to provide a cozy condo for multiple rat families. Good luck seeing whether a car is coming:

Note that the rat hotel’s floor is flush with the sidewalk:

Rats can also live in the middle of the street:

(See “‘Rat tours’ boom in rodent-infested New York” (the Guardian, 9/4): “sightings doubled last year”)

My departure from Teterboro was marred by a horrifying scene of inequality:


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New Yorkers buy child care for migrants, then are surprised they can’t buy it for themselves

With some combination of federal, state, and city tax dollars, New Yorkers are buying child care for migrants. From https://www.nyc.gov/content/getstuffdone/pages/promise-nyc :

This page is a little confusing. It says “the program will help newly arrived asylum seekers.” But newly arrived asylum-seekers are not legally able to work in the U.S. (nytimes). Why aren’t migrants able to take care of their own children if they’re not at work?

After paying federal, state, and city income tax to fund this and other social justice programs, how much do working New Yorkers have left over for their own kids’ care? Not enough, says the NYT… “How Soaring Child Care Costs Are Crushing New Yorkers”:

All but the wealthiest New Yorkers — even the upper middle class and especially mothers — are scrambling to afford care that will allow them to keep their jobs.

A New York City family would have to make more than $300,000 a year to meet the federal standard for affordability — which recommends that child care take up no more than 7 percent of total household income — to pay for just one young child’s care. In reality, a typical city family is spending over a quarter of their income to pay for that care…

What solution does Science offer? What’s not affordable on an individual basis will become inexpensive as soon as it is 100-percent government-funded:

But experts say that none of those efforts have tackled the core issue of extremely low wages for child care employees. Beyond raising pay rates, they said, the city and state could fully fund child care for 3-year-olds, ensure that providers are paid on time and give them more training,

Separately, at a party in Norwalk, Connecticut last month I learned about a consultant paid by NYC parents to help get their kids into the selective preschools (a child who gets into the right preschool is set up to get into the elite elementary school and that sets him/her/zir/them up to get into the elite high school and that, plus a compelling essay on comparative victimhood, sets the child up to get into an elite college). She earns over $1 million per year.

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NYC mayor: Texas governor a “madman” for wanting to send city-destroying migrants away from Texas

“Critics condemn New York mayor for saying migration crisis will ‘destroy’ city” (The Guardian):

The mayor of New York, Eric Adams, has said an increase in migration would “destroy” the city, seemingly blaming the Biden administration for failing to provide federal support as much as the Republican governors who have sent asylum seekers north.

“Never in my life have I had a problem that I did not see an ending to. I don’t see an ending to this,” Adams said. “This issue will destroy New York City.”

More than 110,000 migrants have arrived in New York since last year, Adams said, adding that governors of Republican states had bussed asylum seekers to the city without coordinating with New York officials. Adams seemed to specifically refer to the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, who bussed immigrants to Democratic-led cities including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

“We’ve turned this city around in 20 months,” Adams said. “And then what happened? Started with a madman down in Texas, decided he wanted to bus people up to New York City: 110,000 migrants.”

Are the above statements logically consistent? The presence of a handful of migrants (out of the tens of millions that have enriched the U.S. in recent years; note that Yale estimated 22 million undocumented migrants in the U.S. as of 2016) will “destroy New York City,” according to the mayor. At the same time, a Texan who sought to send these purported city-destroyers away from Texas is an irrational “madman”.

Separately, why can’t New York City easily find room for 110,000 migrants? The population fell by 468,000 from April 2020 through July 2022, according to “NYC lost 5.3% of its population — nearly a half-million people — since COVID, with most heading South” (New York Post). Still plenty of space inside Grand Central Station (photo from last month):

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