Vendors Sold On Bloomberg

Frank Lombardi, New York Daily News, July 12

Mayor Bloomberg won praise from street vendors yesterday for banning the questioning of applicants for street vending licenses about their immigration status.

“Today is a very good day for all immigrants,” said Flor Bermudez, staff attorney for Esperanza del Barrio, a group that works with Mexican and Latino immigrants.

“We’re all very happy because the city will no longer discriminate against immigrants in the licensing process for street vending licenses,” she added.

Under a city law on the books since the late 1930s, applicants for street vending licenses are asked by the Department of Consumer Affairs to document whether they are citizens or have valid immigration or working status.

The City Council passed a bill on June 23 by a 42-to-8 vote to eliminate that requirement. The mayor signed that bill into law yesterday at a City Hall ceremony attended by advocates for vendors and the bill’s chief sponsor, Councilman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn).

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“I’ve always been a fan of Charles Barron,” Bloomberg said of the councilman who once criticized him for spending “an obscene amount of money to buy the mayoralty.”

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