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Out of fear, Philly says 'Adios' to Cinco de Mayo festival

This is a nation of diversity. In Philadelphia alone, various cultures are celebrated throughout the year, including the Mexican culture. Cinco de Mayo takes place in a few weeks. The holiday has become a day here and across the country during which not only those of Mexican descent celebrate their heritage, but Americans of all backgrounds get together and honor the culture.

Recognizing Cinco de Mayo usually means attending parades and festivals while enjoying mariachi music and Mexican treats. Philadelphia historically has held a large celebration on the holiday. This year, however, the plans have changed. More specifically, El Carnaval de Puebla en Filadelphia has been cancelled.

Why after a decade of the city holding the celebration is it cancelled? According to Philly.com, the community is afraid that immigration agents would strategize to identify and detain potential undocumented immigrants on that day. Deportation fears have turned a day of uniting and celebrating diverse cultures into a day of hiding.

There is no doubt that cancelling the Philadelphia festival is discouraging. Amid a time of such high anxiety among immigrants, a party celebrating the pride of the Mexican culture might be just what the doctor ordered. Still, it is understandable why those within the Mexican community would be fearful to hit the streets to literally wave the flag representing their heritage for aggressive law enforcement to see.

This year, the local festival won't occur, though there will undoubtedly be other Cinco de Mayo celebrations throughout Philly and Pennsylvania. Could immigration agents use the holiday as a day to try to target supposedly undocumented immigrants? Sure they could. While the agents have the right to do so, those who are detained have rights, too.

If you or a loved one is detained and facing the threat of deportation, we at Salaman/Henry understand how worried you are. Especially during this time of political change, we also know you might feel like no one is on your side. Our immigration lawyers will meet with you as soon as possible, listen and fight for you and/or your family.

Cinco de Mayo marks a victory in battle for Mexico. It is proof that battles can be overcome. Don't give up hope, not on this coming holiday or on any other day. Detainment does not have to mean deportation.

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