(NSN) Cinco de Mayo festivals in Philadelphia have been canceled, amid growing fears over the enforcement of illegal immigration.
El Carnaval de Puebla, which for a decade has drawn thousands of revelers to South Philly, won’t move ahead as planned this year for fear that attendees — many of whom travel from other American cities and Mexico — could be targeted by federal immigration agents, event organizer Edgar Ramirez said.
“We don’t want any incidents. There’s a little bit of fear in the community,” he said. “It’s sad to cancel the event, but we don’t want difficulties for anyone.”
The decision came after Immigrations and Customs Enforcement arrested 248 people in Mid-Atlantic states during a two-week raid.
“ICE’s enforcement actions are targeted and lead driven,” ICE spokesperson Khalid Walls told the NBC “(ICE) does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately.”
It appears that, in addition to ensuring attendees aren’t targeted, El Carnaval de Puebla wanted to make a political statement about this state of affairs.