That’s right. If you happen to be a member of Mara Salvatrucha MS-13, it’s a given you’ll have a lot of tats to confirm it. The tattoos very clearly say things like “Mara Salvatrucha” and “MS-13”. Doesn’t take much brain power to catch it.
This is exactly what some immigration officers are using as a reason to DENY entry or a Visa. According to this article in Wall Street Journal:
“If you are sporting a gang tattoo, it is reasonable for a consular officer to investigate if you have gang affiliations,” said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that favors curbing immigration to the U.S., adding, “Our government is competent to make these decisions.”
Now the debate starts up about what’s body art, and what’s an express symbol and confirmation of gang affiliation, and perhaps how context matters. Real MS-13 don’t go around volunteering in schools, and none have clean records.
“Because I like art, they try to put a mask of a bad person on me,” Mr. Villalobos said. “My record tells the truth.” According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Villalobos has never been arrested. A notarized letter from an elementary-school teacher describes Mr. and Mrs. Villalobos as “supportive, involved parents that are always the first to volunteer for classroom activities.”
In one way I agree with this, but in another I do not.
On one hand,
-I grew up in Chicago, -where gangs are a way of life, and destroy the city to this day, -and these Chi-Town gangsters are all Citizens.
Maybe stopping obvious MS-13 and others at the border is a good idea, -because if they get in, -they’re gonna light it up against the locals. Or worse, -manage them better.
As Edward McClellan of NBC Chicago points out:
This is not a man who knows the streets of Chicago. Emanuel may have made a D.C. mistake when he brought Garry McCarthy in from Newark to serve as chief of police. McCarthy may be the smartest cop in America. He may give the best Power Point presentation about how his use of CompStat statistics cut the number of murders in New York to its lowest levels since the 1960s. That technocratic image goes a long way in Washington. But McCarthy doesn’t understand Chicago gangs. Source: http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Does-Mayor-Emanuel-Understand-Chicago-161949525.html#ixzz20LoQ9tgY
Neither can Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Oakland falling apart as well, and all they can do is talk up new development. In virtual free-fire zones.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan just can’t get away from the crime issue.
That was clear the other day when Quan joined Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at Jack London Square to talk up a $15 million federal grant for the city’s port operations.
Afterward, when a reporter tried to ask Quan about the shooting Sunday night that wounded five people outside the Regal Cinemas movie complex at Jack London Square just a block away, the mayor dashed off – saying she didn’t want to be “stepping on” the big port announcement.
On another hand,
-how can you know one guy’s tats are from a gang, every single time? Art and design as ink on skin is sort of a cryptic thing in the first place.
Plus, -doesn’t our nation have laws about this already? And conversely, would an I LOVE USA tattoo help expedite entry?
Is this actually a form of discrimination conveniently labelled as crime prevention? The only way to get it right is to look at criminal records, -that is certain. Looking at tattoos only isn’t going to cut it.
So this is the backdrop against which some in the immigration establishment are now focusing.
Forget Joe Arpaio’s misguided profiling of everyone who isn’t Joe Arpaio, -here come some folks who have found a more specific manner in which to vet who gets in.
Problem is, there’s no list of defined tattos. Law enforcement has some, but how much can you trust them when many are actually in the pay of the very gangs they act as though they enforce against?
Obviously, symbols like the below are more difficult to figure out. Only those in the know understands these are secret symbols within MS-13.
Just as “knowing the laws” in Chicago street gangs is a secret way to confirm if another gang member is who and what they say they are. Latin Kings have one set of “laws”, and Gangster Disciples still another. Their tattoos are in English and easy to figure out.
But what about the Russian Mafia. All their tattoos are in Cyrillic!
And how about Yakuza? I bet a lot of consular officials can read Japanese.
While border agents and consular officials try to sort out justifications of the actions regarding tattoos, it’s highly unlikely the core problem of gangs in America will be solved anytime soon.
But on the flipside, -there will be a few Mexican Mafia guys who get caught out, -their boss won’t be happy. Upside -big boom in tattoo removal business!
If you have tattoos of any kind, -it’s probably a good idea to get an immigration attorney.