Organizers of a Cinco de Mayo celebration in Philadelphia are stoking deportation fears by canceling the May celebration.
Calling their cancellation “sad but responsible,” the organizers said they are afraid participants would be targeted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. They claimed their decision reflected concerns among members of the Mexican-American community about the increasing number of immigration enforcement raids, New York Magazine reported.
Once again, ICE officials have been forced to issue a statement explaining they are not conducting broad sweeping raids.
“ICE’s enforcement actions are targeted and lead driven,” an ICE officer in Philadelphia told the local NBC affiliate. “ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately.”
Following targeted arrests of criminal aliens, ICE officials have repeatedly had to counter the lies spread by some media outlets and public officials, Breitbart Texas reported in February.
Event organizer Edgar Ramirez added to the tumult stating, “Everyone is offended by the actions of ICE.” He told NBC 10 News that he and other organizers “did not feel comfortable” holding the event. He said many people travel from other states to join the celebration and “we don’t want anything to happen to them.”
The reality is; unless he has been inviting criminal aliens to his event, it is not likely anything would happen to them. There have been no reports of ICE showing up at celebrations for blanket roundups.
Last week, ICE officers carried out targeted enforcement operations that landed 248 aliens with criminal records behind bars, Breitbart Texas reported. Officers conducted those operations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware.
Among those arrested:
- The arrest of a 34-year-old male citizen of Guatemala with criminal convictions for sexual abuse of a minor. The man has been removed from the United States on two prior occasions. The man has been detained without bond and has been referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution. He’s currently in ICE custody at York County Prison.
- The arrest of a 52-year-old male citizen of Lithuania, with three criminal convictions for driving under the influence. Philadelphia Police Department arrested him on his fourth Feb. 23, 2017. The man was released from Philadelphia Police custody on Feb. 23, 2017, when a detainer lodged with Philadelphia authorities was not honored. The subject is being detained without bond pending immigration proceedings. He’s currently in ICE custody at York County Prison.
- The arrest of a 65-year-old male citizen of Vietnam, with criminal convictions of three counts of manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver marijuana, four counts of conspiracy, two counts of theft of services, and one count of intentional possession of a controlled substance by person not regulated. The arrest resulted in the seizure of over 1100 marijuana plants that were located in a vehicle and a residence owned by the subject. On May 13, 2016, Berks County Court of Common Pleas convicted him of felony charges, which include: one count of manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver marijuana, one count of conspiracy, and one count of theft of services. He is being held without bond pending removal proceedings. He’s currently in ICE custody at the San Antonio Field Office.