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).
Hundreds of undocumented immigrants have been detained or arrested since President Trump took office. Trump campaigned on a pledge to strengthen enforcement of immigration laws.
ICE announced this week alone that 248 people in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia were in federal custody awaiting deportation following two weeks of immigration raids.
Ramirez said that the Mexican-American community, including both legal and illegal residents, was disheartened by reports of large-scale arrests.
“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 Carnaval de Puebla celebrates the May 5, 1862, Battle of Puebla, at which Mexican forces defeated French invaders.
Organizers of the Philadelphia event said they hope next year will be different.