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ICE rumors cause organizers to cancel Mexican Rodeo in Idaho Falls

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Cancellation announcement by Las Pulgas Inc. | Facebook

IDAHO FALLS — A Facebook post warning about the possibility of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in Jerome and Twin Falls lead to the cancellation of two major events.

The Colombia Event Center in Caldwell announced on Facebook it canceled a concert this Saturday featuring Los Inquietos, a Mexican band. The Mexican Rodeo on Sunday at Sandy Downs in Idaho Falls was also canceled. The event was slated to bring in over 1,000 people.

“For us, it’s more important to keep our Latino community safe than make an extra dollar,” Cosme “Mito” Sanchez of event organizer Las Pulgas Inc., told EastIdahoNews.com of the Mexican Rodeo.

The video that sparked the cancellation of the events was posted on the Colombia Event Center’s Facebook page Wednesday. In the video, a woman, who isn’t identified, says she is standing outside a Best Western hotel in Jerome where there is a rumor that ICE agents have rented 14 to 18 rooms.

At one point in the video, the woman goes up to someone working in the hotel and asks her why the ICE agents are there.

“I can’t really give that information out, but they are not from here. They are from Portland,” the employee says in the video.

The employee confirmed to the woman that ICE agents are staying in the hotel. The woman tells the employee that the Latino community is concerned and will be on “alert.”

“I’m going to talk to some people to see if we can come put up signs here and stand and protest to tell them that we don’t want them here,” the woman says.

EastIdahoNews.com reached out to ICE to confirm the rumors their agents are in Jerome and Twin Falls, but officials were unavailable for comment.

Rumors of ICE raids have circulated the country over the past couple weeks. Most recently ICE participated in “a five-day enforcement surge focused on immigration fugitives with a final removal order and a criminal conviction(s) or a criminal charge” in the San Diego area.

“ICE focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security,” according to ICE news release related to the San Diego arrests. “However, ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All those in violation of immigration law may be subject to arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States. ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that arrest aliens indiscriminately.”

Sanchez said he is working with the bands and the other entertainers scheduled for the Mexican Rodeo to decide on a new date for the event.

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