The annual Charro Days celebration is right around the corner.
The group Frontera Progressives say the event is to bring two communities together and they feel the presence of ICE and Border Patrol would cast a dark cloud over their celebration.
The festival was created to honor the culture between Brownsville and Mexico. This year, Frontera Progressives have had enough.
“Border Patrol and ICE are kinds of symbols of the very worst practices of the Trump administration and to have them in Charro Days parade is like an affront to this community, a slap in the face,” said Mark Kaswan.
Kaswan is the co-founder of the local group, where they look to educate people on progressive values. Kaswan tells CBS 4 having CBP and ICE there doesn’t fit in what the festival is about.
“We love the Charro Days Fiesta, we love the parade and we see this presence of Border Patrol and ICE as something that disrupts undermining the very joyous nature of Charro Days.”
The group has been protesting Border Patrol and ICE at the festival years.
Last Monday, they sent a letter to Charro Day organizers asking for the committee to not allow the two agencies to join in the celebration.
“It creates a negative feeling for a lot of people in the community when they see Border Patrol and ICE in the parade,” said Kaswan.
Coordinators at the festival say they will not remove the Border Patrol and ICE and will continue to provide safe fun for the community. In a statement adding they are “not a political organization.”
Kaswan tells CBS 4 they will continue to let their voices be heard.
“We’ll continue to be a voice in the community for progressive values and for defending human rights,” he said.
The Border Patrol gave us a statement saying:
The Rio Grande Valley Sector is proud of its relationships with the communities it protects. Border community liaison agents assigned to each station foster and maintain relationships through proactive communication, participation in community events, and regular meetings with stakeholders.