Since President Donald Trump took office, the United States has seen an increase in undocumented immigrants being arrested and detained, as reported by BBC.
The main target of the Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) raids are people with criminal records and suspected gang members.
However, there have been people who have gotten scooped up in a case of “wrong place, wrong time.” A story of a woman's father who got arrested while ICE was searching for someone else was shared by the Los Angeles Times.
To make sure none of its residents get deported, Philadelphia has cancelled its Cinco de Mayo celebration, El Carnaval de Puebla.
Organizer Edgar Ramirez told NBC 10 that as many as 15,000 people travel from all over to come to the celebration and called the decision “sad, but responsible.” He described how the decision was reached:
“The group of six organizers decided to cancel unanimously. Everyone is offended by the actions of ICE. They did not feel comfortable holding the event.”
The Hill reported that ICE recently announced that 248 people in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia were in federal custody and awaiting deportation.
Mayor Jim Kenney (D) is “devastated” that ICE has impacted his city. He described his emotions to The Washington Post:
“I’m devastated to hear that ICE has had such a chilling effect that Philadelphians no longer feel comfortable engaging in this public celebration.”
One resident said people are afraid ICE will “come out of nowhere.”
Carlos Torres, a spokesman for the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia, supported the decision and had a message for anyone who's “scared or worried.” He told NBC 10:
“I would understand why people are scared or worried. But our message is that we are with them. People should try to continue to live their lives as regular as possible, but in a well-informed matter.”
However, an ICE official seemed to try to put fears to rest and told the news station that the agency “does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately.”
In terms of next year's celebration, Ramirez claimed he'll just have to wait and see.