L.A. City Council Step Up Efforts to Protect Street Vendors From ICE

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 16: A street vendor sells fruit on a street corner on February 16, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In February, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to decriminalize street vending in an effort to reduce chances of illegal immigrants being deported for criminal convictions. 

However, according to the Los Angeles Times, some loopholes in the law can put street vendors at risk of criminal charges. Activists say that while there was a lot of energy to decriminalize the vendors in February, that has faded, and there are still some areas that could put them at risk. 

Criminal penalties for violating the sidewalk vending laws have been taken out, but, code sections that target selling food from a pushcart in a park can still get a vendor in hot water. Violations are typically charged as minor infractions, but repeated offenses for selling in a park remains a misdemeanor. 

Advocates for street vendors have stepped up their education campaign to help the entrepreneurs avoid getting into trouble. 

Councilman Gil Cedillo says wants to remove the criminal penalties, and turn them into administrative citations. A new proposal from Cedillo and Councilman Jose Huizar was introduced on Wednesday that asked city officials to report on the decriminalization efforts.  

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