Permanently Marked for Exclusion

Courtesy of CJ Green / Flickr (Preston, England)

According to The Wall Street Journal, some immigrants are denied permanent residency (i.e. green cards) because of their tattoos, which State Department officials associate with street gangs. While the exclusion of tattooed green card applicants is likely part of the State Department’s fight against transnational street gangs, it is happening at the expense of immigrants and their families.  U.S. consular officers have lots to learn about the cultural roots and the multiple meanings of the ink they are interpreting.

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