The Gothamist published an article on the push to ban street vendors from the magisterial Brooklyn Bridge. I am 100% in support of banning street vendors from the Bridge, but I will focus on another point in the report. See the following quote:

But vendors said there are not many legal spots where they can move to. Street vending has become more common as asylum seekers try to make ends meet without work permits.

Setting aside the reporter’s insistence on using asylum seeker as a blanket term for aliens who may or may not have actually applied for asylum, much less have a colorable asylum case, I submit for the record that hawking wares on the street is not a legal solution to not having employment authorization. An alien who is not authorized to engage in employment is not authorized to engage in self-employment (many aliens who are explicitly here on work visas are not eligible to engage in self-employment, see e.g., H-1B specialty occupation workers and O-1 aliens of extraordinary ability). The article quotes a street vendor advocate in the very next paragraph as describing street vendors as small businesses. An alien who lacks employment authorization cannot legally work as a street vendor regardless of his or her desire to make ends meet.

New BIA Decision Requiring Aggregate Analysis of Past Persecution in Asylum Claim by Matthew Hoppock (Hoppock Law Firm)
The Board said all the way back in 1966 that long and pervasive discrimination can amount to persecution. Matter of Salama, 11 I&N Dec. 536 (BIA 1966) (recognizing discrimination against Jews in Egypt as persecution). Matter of Salama was one of the first BIA decisions construing the phrase “persecution on account of race, religion, or political opinion” in the Immigration and Nationality Act. What today’s decision confirms is that the Board’s analysis in Salama, that “a government campaign of discrimination” may be persecution, remains true.

I wrote a detailed analysis of a 1966 Board of Immigration Appeals decision in Matter of Salama, 11 I&N Dec. 536 (BIA 1966). In that post, I worked through the decision and examined the small number of citations to it in precedent decisions. I opined that although I first came across the decision while researching economic persecution precedents, its analysis is too limited to provide much value in that area of asylum law. The Hoppock Law Firm’s description of Salama as holding that “long and pervasive discrimination can amount to persecution” is over the target. However, as I explained in my piece, the limited analysis makes it difficult to discern an easy-to-apply broader principle in Salama.