Undocumented Immigrants Fear Attending Salvadoran Festival
The Salvadoran Cultural Festival drew a crowd of 1,500 this past Sunday at the Prince William County Fairground in Virginia. Event organizers said the turnout would have been higher if not for the recent implementation of laws in the region targeting undocumented immigrants.
Jose, a 25-year-old undocumented construction worker was among the crowd, and at first reluctant to participate in the festivities for fear of being arrested. ‘The police can stop you and ask to see your documents,’ he said in Spanish. ‘To me, this seems discriminatory against the community.’ Another festival attendee, Rosa Arias, 54, an Annandale resident who left San Salvador 35 years ago confessed ‘her friends and neighbors who are in the country illegally would be reluctant to attend such events.’
Virginia currently has some of the strictest immigration policies in the nation. Police are allowed to question immigration status of anyone stopped for any reason. The Governor is asking federal government to allow state troopers to make immigration status checks and refer individuals for deportation.