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Philadelphia cancels Cinco de Mayo parade over deportation fears

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

Edgar Ramirez told a local NBC affiliate that as many as 15,000 people gather for the annual parade through South Philadelphia, marking the city’s largest Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Ramirez told NBC the decision was “sad but responsible” amid reports of more immigration enforcement arrests on the part of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Is it just me or does this sound a bit like an admission that things really weren’t on the up and up in Philadelphia? This was supposed to be a festival and a time for people to celebrate their heritage, get out in the streets with their neighbors and have a good time. The last time I checked, parades and festivals were not supposed to be designated areas for harboring criminals. Who exactly are these Cinco de Mayo festivities supposed to be honoring?

The only reason you might have for canceling the parade is if you believe that there were going to be illegal aliens either involved in the March or watching from the sidelines. But even then, if they are in fact breaking the law, wouldn’t you want to support the enforcement of your country’s rules? Conversely, everyone who is in the country legally (whether that be citizens, green card holders or visa recipients) have nothing to worry about. Nobody’s talking about deporting immigrants. They are only after illegal aliens.

ICE is still so overwhelmed that most of these fears are likely overblown. We recently read about other reactions along these lines including people canceling their SNAP benefits. We’ve also received credible reports that some illegals are in such a panic they are voluntarily fleeing the country and heading north to Canada. (Self-deportation, anyone?) The real irony here is that, at least thus far, immigration enforcement isn’t doing anything remarkably different from what went on during the Obama administration.


Philadelphia's Latin American community is in no mood to party due to fear of an immigration crackdown.

Normally an event called El Carnaval de Puebla is held in the city in the spring.

It's a commemoration of Mexico's victory against France in the Battle of Puebla, which is also the inspiration behind Cinco de Mayo.

But this year the event has been canceled.

Organizer Edgar Ramirez told NBC 10 that in light of recent stepped-up Immigrations and Customs Enforcement actions against illegal immigrants, there were concerns that Carnaval participants would be in danger of deportation.


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