Philly's Largest Cinco de Mayo Celebration Cancelled Amid Immigration Concerns

Philadelphia's Largest Cinco de Mayo Celebration Canceled in Fear of Immigration Crackdown

El Carnaval de Puebla, a major Cinco De Mayo celebration in Philadelphia, has been canceled following recent federal immigration crackdowns, organizers said.

Amid heightened paranoia in the country's immigrant communities, South Philadelphia can bid this year's Cinco de Mayo celebration, "Hasta luego".

Philadelphia is ICE-Raids-in-Pennsylvania-Delaware-West-Virginia-416274393.html" target="_blank">reportedly one of the largest USA hubs of migrants from Puebla - but Edgar Ramirez, one of the six organizers of the festival, told Al Día that more than 60 percent of people who attend the festival come from outside Philadelphia.

Hundreds of undocumented immigrants have been detained or arrested since President Trump took office.

And after promising during the 2016 campaign to deport millions of people who were in the country illegally, Trump's administration has proposed hiring thousands of new immigration agents, building a border wall and speeding up removals.

The agency announced last week 248 people were in in federal custody awaiting deportation after being caught in a two week sweep across Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia.

Ramirez said that the Mexican-American community, including both legal and illegal residents, was disheartened by reports of large-scale arrests. Everyone is offended by the actions of ICE.

"Everyone's pretty much afraid because they're saying that, basically, ICE is just going to come in out of nowhere", Florencia Gonzalez told WCAU.

A spokesperson for Philadelphia's Mexican consulate said it was understandable why the event would be cancelled but urged people to remain acting normally and live their lives as they always do. "This year we ask that you all stay well informed, that you don't get led astray by rumors or make hasty decisions".

The Carnaval de Pueblo is modeled after the colorful street fairs that celebrate Mexico's military victories over invading foreign forces.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) told WCAU that he hopes to bring the carnival back in the future.

"I'm devastated to hear that ICE has had such a chilling effect that Philadelphians no longer feel comfortable engaging in this public celebration", Kenney said in a statement emailed to HuffPost.

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