Philadelphia cancels Cinco de Mayo parade over deportation fears

The “Trump Effect” is taking root in some highly unusual places. We always expected (or at least hoped) that the new administration would prompt things such as employers bringing jobs back to the United States or heightened consumer confidence, but I didn’t anticipate parades being canceled. Yet that’s precisely what seems to have happened in the City of Brotherly Love. The annual Cinco de Mayo parade in Philadelphia was still more than six weeks away but it has already been called off over fears that immigration enforcement officials might be on the scene. (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).

Is it just me or does this sound a bit like an admission that things really weren’t on the up and up in Philadelphia? This was supposed to be a festival and a time for people to celebrate their heritage, get out in the streets with their neighbors and have a good time. The last time I checked, parades and festivals were not supposed to be designated areas for harboring criminals. Who exactly are these Cinco de Mayo festivities supposed to be honoring?

The only reason you might have for canceling the parade is if you believe that there were going to be illegal aliens either involved in the March or watching from the sidelines. But even then, if they are in fact breaking the law, wouldn’t you want to support the enforcement of your country’s rules? Conversely, everyone who is in the country legally (whether that be citizens, green card holders or visa recipients) have nothing to worry about. Nobody’s talking about deporting immigrants. They are only after illegal aliens.

ICE is still so overwhelmed that most of these fears are likely overblown. We recently read about other reactions along these lines including people canceling their SNAP benefits. We’ve also received credible reports that some illegals are in such a panic they are voluntarily fleeing the country and heading north to Canada. (Self-deportation, anyone?) The real irony here is that, at least thus far, immigration enforcement isn’t doing anything remarkably different from what went on during the Obama administration.

It’s pretty hard to complain about any of this. If the media is doing such a good job in frightening illegal immigrants into these sorts of actions as part of their ongoing campaign to make Donald Trump out to be a bad guy, that’s sort of a win-win situation isn’t it? I’m not lumping activities such as the Cinco de Mayo parade in with this of course. I think these sorts of festivals are terrific. All the organizers are doing by canceling the parade is making a rather pointless and divisive political statement while robbing those Americans of Mexican heritage who are here legally of a chance to celebrate.