Following the Trump administration's recent federal illegal immigration crackdowns, organizers have canceled El Carnaval de Puebla, a major Cinco De Mayo celebration in Philadelphia.
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.
And now, NBC reports that 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 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.”
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.
“We have people who travel all the way from Chicago, Connecticut and New York. We don’t want anything to happen to them,” he said.
ICE Officer Khaalid Walls of the agency's Philadelphia office said in an email that "ICE’s enforcement actions are targeted and lead driven. ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately."
As for a return of Carnaval, organizers will decide sometime in the future if the parade once again dances its way through the heavily Latino Pennsport neighborhood, Ramirez said. “Let's see how things are next year," he said.