Philly mayor 'devastated' by Cinco de Mayo cancelation over ICE fears

Posted March 20, 2017

To make sure none of its residents get deported, Philadelphia has cancelled its Cinco de Mayo celebration, El Carnaval de Puebla.

Ramirez was sad to cancel the celebration but said Friday it was "responsible" in the midst of "the severe conditions affecting the immigrant community", according to NBC10 Philadelphia.

Since President Donald Trump took office, the United States has seen an increase in undocumented immigrants being arrested and detained, as reported by BBC.

ICE said it specifically targeted individuals who posed public safety threats and those who violated immigration law, including multiple arrests of those with violent criminal arrests or convictions.

This month, ICE agents arrested 248 foreign nationals in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware.

This year's parade has been canceled due to organizers' fears that the event would expose participants and attendants to a potential immigration raid. "They did not feel comfortable holding the event", Ramirez told NBC10. As Voice of American reports, Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory of Mexico over France in 1862 in the Franco-Mexican War.

Rosalina de los Santos said she has participated in the event for nearly eight years and understands why it was canceled this year. In previous years, hundreds of carnavaleros, or marchers, have commemorated the historic battle while parading through south Philadelphia in traditional garb.

El Carnaval de Puebla's official Facebook page posted an update last week with news of the cancellation. "ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that targets aliens indiscriminately". For the past 10 years we have been proud to share with our neighbors our tradition.

In a statement, spokesperson Khalid Walls of Philadelphia's ICE said: "ICE's enforcement actions are targeted and lead driven".

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney was disappointed by the development.

"While we can't stop ICE from conducting these raids, I want our immigrant community to know that we want them here, we remain committed to being a Fourth Amendment city and protecting these values, and we will do whatever we can to help them feel comfortable bringing this celebration back in the future".