Activists transformed a Batman piñata into an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent and encouraged kids to take swings during a community day event, an activity captured in videos and photos posted to social media.
Anthony Martinez of the Chicago chapter of Los Brown Berets said his organization claimed responsibility for the piñata at East Side Community Day 2019, which according to the East Side Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook took place on July 13.
CANDY WITH A SIDE OF CONTROVERSY: A piñata depicting a federal ICE agent was on display during a recent event in Chicago.
The same event also featured an activity that had kids throwing balls at a painted image of President Trump’s face.
— Eric Cox (@EricCoxTV) July 23, 2019
“It was not meant in a negative way at all towards law enforcement,” Martinez told CBS Chicago, which covered the story Tuesday.
“Come join us tomorrow Saturday July 13th at the East side community day and take a hit back at the ICE pinata. Free popcorn, immigration information and information about ourselves,” his group posted July 12 on Facebook.
Martinez said the ICE agent effigy was a way of “just making a statement” about the federal government’s immigration policies — “taking children from their parents, separating them,” Martinez told CBS Chicago. Los Brown Berets call themselves a civil rights movement focused on the chicano, or Mexican, community.
Martinez also said the money raised through the activities for the kids would go toward helping asylum seekers. Young children could also throw balls at a painting of President Donald Trump at the event, reported CBS Chicago.
The chamber of commerce’s representative said they did not anticipate the event would cause controversy. More than 25 businesses are part of the group, according to CBS Chicago. A member of the chamber of commerce, Martin Covington, did not indicate the group would ban ICE piñatas or similar activities at future events. Covington said he didn’t know the piñata would be part of the festivities, although Los Brown Berets had published their plans on social media.
The controversy comes after Trump announced — and then later scrapped — plans in June to conduct sweeping ICE raids across the country. Many communities have decided to stand with or against ICE as well. For example, a major D.C. suburb in Maryland will now punish officials who cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officers.
The East Side Chamber of Commerce and Chicago chapter of Los Brown Berets did not immediately return the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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