on the rise for applicants with gang-related tattoos. In 2006 there were only 2 such denials. However, in 2010, the number jumped to 82. Many of those affected are from Latin America., and have no criminal history.
With the continued gang violence in Mexico, U.S. authorities’ concern with national security have resulted in more people getting denied based on their body art.
Some of the gang signs are a part of general culture, and have an
alternative meaning. The Wall Street Journal discusses the story of Hector
Villalobos. He does not have a criminal record, and he has been in the United
States for several years. The U.S. Consulate in Mexico denied his application
for an immigrant visa because of his tattoos. One of his tattoos is of two
theatrical masks. These masks represent a gang. However, it’s very possible that
many folks would look at the same masks, and take them for what they
are—theatrical masks. Unfortunately for Mr. Villalobos, his choice in tattoos
have now led him to a bleak situation where he is stuck in Mexico while his wife
and children continue to reside in Colorado.
Whoever thought a person could get denied a visa because of tattoos? Well, it now seems to pose a concern for those interested in immigrating.