Some people wary of celebrating Cinco de Mayo amid Trump immigration policies

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican culture, but some say President Donald Trump's immigration policies are making it difficult to celebrate the day.

At Tio's Tacos on Friday afternoon, the lunch crowd continued to roll in. While many other people sat wrapping up their meals at the family-owned Mexican restaurant in Riverside, Sylvia Ramirez brought her friend in to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

Jennifer Walker and her family also came to salute their Mexican-American roots.

"You get to enjoy the food, enjoy the environment, enjoy the company instead of just being a stereotype," she said.

But some Latinos are feeling torn about the holiday given the current political atmosphere as immigration policies include stepped up enforcement and Trump's calls for a border wall.

As he flips through a collection of Chicano Art, professor Juan Delgado said the holiday is not celebrated in Mexico. But it picked up steam in the U.S. in the 1970s Chicano movement.

"But I think in this age we find ourselves. We also are celebrating there's a history of resistance. There's a history of power. There's a history of unifying. I think some of these ceremonies now are galvanizing," he said.

He added the Trump administration has made life tough for many Latinos, including Dreamers on the Cal State San Bernardino campus.

But he sees Cinco de Mayo and its celebration as a way to raise awareness.

"And activism, too. So I think you're going to be seeing some very different Cinco de Mayos," he said.

Latino organizations urged people to refrain from celebrating the stereotypical features of the Mexican culture and instead to find out more about the history of the day. It's the day Mexico defeated the French army in 1862 during the Battle of Puebla.
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