Apparently, Cinco de Mayo can’t be celebrated because too many of the participants think they might be deported.
I don’t know anything about how Cinco de Mayo in Philadelphia might differ from other American cities. But it is telling that the city’s planned celebration has been cancelled out of fear of ICE.
According to The Hill:
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 story goes on to say that the organizers find the work of ICE in enforcing the law “offensive.” So, are they protesting? Or are they cancelling the event because so many of them are here illegally that the Cinco de Mayo event would be much smaller if those people didn’t participate?
How many of those 15,000 expected celebraters were going to be people who were in the country illegally?
It gets weirder. According to the local NBC affiliate, the Mexican government is encouraging this illegal behavior.
A spokesman with the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia said they are aware of Carnaval’s cancellation and that consular officials are not surprised about the current demeanor of citizens and undocumented immigrants alike.
“I would understand why people are scared or worried,” Carlos Torres, a consular spokesman said. “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.”
Does the United States have any embassy or consular office in any foreign country that openly sides with U.S. citizens who reside illegally in that country? Would the Mexicans tolerate such behavior in their country?
In the meantime, Canada is facing new immigrant pressure and responding. As Reuters reports:
Canada’s border authorities detained more Mexicans in the first 67 days of 2017 than they did annually in any of the three previous years, according to statistics obtained by Reuters.
The spike comes immediately after Canada’s federal government lifted its visa requirement for Mexican citizens in December.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said it detained 444 Mexican nationals between Jan. 1 and March 8, compared with 410 for all of 2016, 351 for 2015, and 399 for 2014.
The CBSA can detain foreign nationals if it is believed they pose a danger to the public, if their identity is unclear or if they are deemed unlikely to appear for removal or for a proceeding.
The number of Mexicans turned back at the airport has risen, too – to 313 in January, more than any January since 2012 and more than the annual totals for 2012, 2013 and 2014.
With the visa requirement lifted, all that Mexicans need to come to Canada is an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), obtainable online in a matter of minutes. But they cannot work without a work permit, and the eTA does not guarantee entry.
I wonder if the Mexican consulates in Canada will start making statements about that country’s policies.