Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Philadelphia Cinco de Mayo carnival cancelled amid immigration crackdown fears

A popular Cinco de Mayo celebration in Philadelphia has been cancelled amid fear of immigration raids.The Carnaval de Puebla en Philadelphia annually draws some 15,000 attendees to its colourful combination of vendors, music and performances. Organisers told Al Dia that 60 percent of participants come from other cities, and some from as far as Mexico. Now, organisers fear it could become a target for agents from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).“The safety and welfare of our fellow carnival people and their families is very important to [our organisation,]” the group wrote on Facebook. “Getting to Philadelphia requires travelling from several cities of the region. We know that everything is uncertain, [and] we don't want them to run the risk.” This fear, organisers say, stems from Trump administration crackdowns on immigration. The Department of Homeland Security recently released new guidelines for border control agencies that expand the range of people who can be targeted for deportation. Philly.com reported almost 200 undocumented immigrants were arrested in Pennsylvania in the last month alone. Several arrests occurred outside a local criminal court, and one inside a neighbourhood corner store. We know pretty much that ICE is driving around,” organiser David Pina told a local ABC affiliate. “The fear is the people come from other cities, come to participate here and maybe on the way they get stopped, and they ask for any legal papers and they don't have them.”

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