Mother Tattoo on ArmApparently  that’s the belief at the panel physician offices (or “clinics”) in Cd. Juarez, Mexico. Two clients with innocent tattoos have complained about the highly intrusive physical examination and follow-up questioning by “psychiatrists” at the Cd. Juarez panel physician offices.

The clients (and anecdotal evidence) indicate that anyone with tattoos will be forcefully interrogated about the tattoo, gang membership, and alcohol and drug use. The clinic personnel aren’t subtle either. They’ll hammer away with leading questions apparently hoping the person will break and admit that yes, that tattoo of Spongebob Squarepants really means membership in a drug-crazed violent street gang. You’ve been warned.

And what happens if a panel physician concludes that a tattoo connects an immigrant to an organized street gang? The person is permanently barred from the U.S. Yes, there’s a review and appeal process, but presume that consulate officials would rather err on the side of caution than on the side of the immigrant.

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José