Fearing Immigration Raid, Hispanic Group Cancels Cinco de Mayo Festival

In this March 3, 2015 photo, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers escort an arrestee in an apartment building, in the Bronx borough of New York, during a series of early-morning raids.

By Published on March 20, 2017

The organizers of a large Cinco de Mayo celebration in Philadelphia, Penn., have canceled this year’s celebration due to fears of a nationwide crackdown on illegal immigration.

“We have people who travel all the way from Chicago, Connecticut and New York,” Edgar Ramirez, one of the organizers of El Carnaval de Puebla, told NBC 10 News of Philadelphia. “We don’t want anything to happen to them.”

Ramirez said the six organizers of the event agreed unanimously to cancel the parade, and that the decision was “sad but responsible” in the present climate, where immigrant communities feel targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

“The group of six organizers decided to cancel unanimously,” Ramirez said. “Everyone is offended by the actions of ICE. They did not feel comfortable holding the event.”

A post announcing the event cancellation on the group’s Facebook page says: “Your safety and welfare is the most important.” During El Carnaval de Puebla in previous years, attendees would see reenactments of the battle May 5, 1862, when the Mexican army defeated French forces. The French army returned in 1963 and won.

Conducting a raid on a public parade to round up illegal immigrants would be a change from ICE’s standard procedure. “ICE’s enforcement actions are targeted and lead driven,” Khaalid Walls, a spokesman for ICE, told NBC 10. “ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately.”

Residents seem to be worried about ICE raids despite official policy. “Everyone’s pretty much afraid because they’re saying that, basically, ICE is just going to come in out of nowhere,” Florencia Gonzalez, a Philadelphia resident, told NBC 10.

“I’m devastated to hear that ICE has had such a chilling effect that Philadelphians no longer feel comfortable engaging in this public celebration,” Mayor Jim Kenney said.


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Copyright 2017 The Daily Caller News Foundation

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  • Mo86

    “Fearing Immigration Raid, Hispanic Group Cancels Cinco de Mayo Festival”

    “Hispanics”, eh? How about saying MEXICANS? That is who celebrates this day. I am sick to death of all Hispanics/Latinos being lumped together. I am Puerto Rican. I was born and raised in America. My parents are also American citizens. They learned the language, got jobs, worked all their lives, and assimilated. Never did they have to “worry” about an immigration raid because they are legal citizens. Funny how that works, don’t you think?

    Also, the only Mexicans should be worried are those who are here illegally. If you weren’t breaking laws, you wouldn’t be worried. Again, funny how that works!

    • Triple T

      I don’t think Mexicans even celebrate this. It’s become just another excuse for Americans to get drunk

      • Christian Cowboy

        Lived in Mexico and it was not celebrated where I lived. Good point!

  • RWS

    Why in the world would either immigrants (legal entrants and residents) or invaders (illegal entrants) celebrate a foreign holiday, anyway, except to show that they’ve no desire to become part of American society? Which, of course, the invaders have shown already, by deliberately violating American sovereignty and breaking her law as their first act upon this soil.

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