Philadelphia’s Cinco de Mayo celebration canceled in fear of immigration crackdown

Philadelphia’s Cinco de Mayo celebration canceled in fear of immigration crackdown
Cinco de Mayo (Image: NBC Philadelphia video screen grab)

[Ed. – Law-abiding immigrants have nothing to fear.]

One of Philadelphia’s most prominent Latin American events, El Carnaval de Puebla, has been canceled this year because of what one organizer called “the severe conditions affecting the immigrant community.”

The annual parade through South Philadelphia has taken place in late April or early May for the last decade and is the city’s largest Cinco de Mayo celebration. Organizer Edgar Ramirez said as many as 15,000 gather from as far as New England and Chicago.

The decision to cancel El Carnaval, Ramirez said in an interview Friday, was “sad but responsible” in light of the immigration crackdown by federal authorities.

He said the entire Mexican-American community, both those here legally and those undocumented, are disheartened by reports of large-scale arrests and detainments by officers with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

This week, ICE announced that 248 people in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia are now in federal custody awaiting deportation after a two-week sweep.

“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.”

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