This year’s celebration of the Cinco de Mayo festivities in Philadelphia, Penn have been canceled by its organizers for fear of an immigration crackdown during the celebrations.
Edgar Ramirez, one of the organizers of the El Carnival de Puebla in an interview by NBC 10 News in Philadelphia said that: “We have people who travel all the way from Chicago, Connecticut and New York. We don’t want anything to happen to them.”
All six of the organizers of the event unanimously agreed to hold off the parade saying that their decision was ‘sad but responsible” considering the present situation where they feel that immigrant communities are being targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Ramirez said that: “Everyone is offended by the actions of ICE. They did not feel comfortable holding the event.”
In a Facebook post, the group announced the cancellation of the event saying: Your safety and welfare is the most important.”
ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls in an interview with NBC 10 said that: “ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately.”
He goes on to say that raids on public parade to get illegal immigrants is not part of ICE’s standard operating procedures. Walls said: “ICE’s enforcement actions are targeted and lead driven,”
Residents however are still anxious about ICE raids even after the official announcement of ICE. Philadelphia residents feel afraid that ICE agents would be all over the place and would start taking immigrants in custody. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny in a statement said that: “I’m devastated to hear that ICE has had such a chilling effect that Philadelphians no longer feel comfortable engaging in this public celebration,”