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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Cellphones, ping-pong, haircuts among perks for NYC migrants

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Thousands of migrants who illegally crossed the US’s southern border recently and claimed asylum are enjoying a slew of free perks in New York City.

Mayor Eric Adams — warning that the Biden administration’s border policies could cost the city more than a mind-boggling $1 billion because of the influx — has begged the White House to help the Big Apple bear the burden, to no avail.

Here are some of the benefits that come along with being an asylum-seeker in the Big Apple.

Courtesy of the city:

Staying at the ritzy 3-star Watson Hotel is free for NYC migrants.
Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock
  • Three hot meals a day, including rice, meat and beans and “snacks between meals like cookies,’’ a migrant at the terminal told The Post on Tuesday.
  • Transportation, including daily free MetroCards good for two rides from sites such as the Watson. At the more isolated Brooklyn terminal, there is a free bus offered to the Barclays Center downtown, and every person receives a daily round-trip ferry ticket.
RK - JANUARY 30: Migrants grab donated supplies while camping out in front of the Watson Hotel after being evicted.
Migrants grab donated supplies while camping out in front of the Watson Hotel after being evicted.

Migrants camped outside the Watson Hotel.
Many migrants have camped out outside the Watson Hotel after refusing their less lavish lodgings.


Chicken with pinto beans and black rice.
Food for migrants is free from the city.


  • Recreation at the terminal includes ping pong tables, five large-screen TVs and a treadmill, as well as access to free international calls and WiFi. At the former city facility on Randall’s Island, there were city-provided Xboxes.
  • Health care, which the city says includes “urgent-care services and sign-up for health coverage.’’ City officials declined to elaborate.
  • Education for migrant kids at public city schools.

Courtesy of private groups:

  • Free cell phones during special giveaways.
  • Free haircuts at times at such places as the Watson.


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