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Homeboy Industries Removes Tattoos For Former Gang Members And Released Prisoners

VICE / Facebook

Fore more than a decade, Los Angeles-based Homeboy Industries has been working with former gang members and recently released prisoners to help them assimilate into society. A new VICE video highlights one of the many services offered by Homeboy Industries: tattoo removal.

Homeboy Industries first came about in the 1980s thanks to Father Greg Boyle.

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Credit: VICE / Facebook

Father Greg, along with several community members, decided to fight against the gang lifestyle by offering young people educational opportunities and legitimate employment. Homeboy Industries offers an array of job placement programs, such as a solar panel training program. It also established a bakery where many former gang members work. They’ve also opened up a day care center and elementary school.

As Homeboy Industries has grown, so to have the needs of those the organization serves.

HandTattoos
Credit: VICE / Facebook

Homeboy Industries offers former gang members more than just tattoo removal services. The organization tried to make sure that those leaving gangs can do so safely and offers them employment. Homeboy Industries has given former gang members employment in myriad ways, including through a network of bakeries and coffee shops. There are even salsas and tortilla chips sold in stores across southern California created by Homeboy Industries to give those in their system a chance to turn their lives around.

But the most popular service offered by Homeboy Industries is the tattoo removal.

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Credit: VICE / Facebook

According to its official website, Homeboy Industries performs 3,000 tattoo removals for 950 clients a month. It can take up to a year for a tattoo to be completely removed.

It should also be noted that removing your tattoos is a painful process and not something people take lightly. Those who seek out Homeboy Industries have a clear mission: reassimilation into society. Their reasons vary but the desired end result is the same. These are people who have seen what their current life is bringing them and have decided that they don’t want to follow that path.

And it doesn’t matter which body part you have tattooed – they’ll get rid of it.

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Credit: VICE / Facebook

There are 35 certified volunteer doctors on hand to help remove that gang-related ink from arms, chests and even eyelids. “It’s like having an elastic band whack you in the same spot about 20 times a second,” physician assistant Troy Clarke told VICE. “The girls deal with pain better than the boys. They’ve got higher pain thresholds, for obvious reasons.”

The service is free and offered to anyone enrolled at Homeboy Industries. “Walk-in community members” are also welcomed.

FixingTheirLife
Credit: VICE / Facebook

Many people, like the woman above, just want to be better role models for their children. Getting rid of visible gang tattoos is the first step on a long road.

Congratulations, everyone. It is a hard and long road to get out of the gang life and into mainstream society but you are doing it. We are so proud of you and the work you are putting into the process. Keep it up.

Check out the full VICE video here.

READ: This Ex-Gang Member Used To Run The Streets Of L.A., Now He’s An Emmy-Nominated Actor

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Some Immigrants Are Removing Their Tattoos To Avoid Being Profiled By ICE

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Some Immigrants Are Removing Their Tattoos To Avoid Being Profiled By ICE

koiquest10 / Flickr

There’s a lot that can go wrong with getting a tattoo. One moment you’re loving it, the next your mom is beating you with a flyswatter and telling you that you’ve ruined your life. And while there’s always a risk with getting a tattoo, one group of people, immigrants, are finding out their tattoos could end up getting them in serious trouble and potentially deported.

One San Francisco area tattoo removal facility has reportedly seen an upswing in the number of immigrants and DACA recipients looking for tattoo removals.

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sanpabloedc.com

These individuals fear that ICE may classify them as gang members or gang affiliated, which would make them targets for potential deportation. As Nora Ruiz of the San Pablo Economic Development Corporation, which offers tattoo removal, told CBS, immigrants with tattoos feel like “moving targets” and that they “fear that they might be seen as a certain type of person or judged in anyway, people want to get their tattoos removed.”

We’ve already seen at least one immigrant stripped of his DREAMer status because of his tattoos.

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DANIELRAMIREZMEDINA / GOFUNDME

It makes sense that immigrants with former gang affiliations would want to formally sever ties with their past, but what about those who just happen to be immigrants with tattoos?

Last month, 23-year-old Daniel Ramirez Medina was detained by ICE and had his DACA status revoked. According to The Guardian, he had a tattoo, “La Paz BCS,” written in Spanish on his forearm, which officers took as a sign of gang affiliation. Medina had no prior record and was in good standing with his DACA status. When asked by authorities about his tattoo, The Guardian reported, Medina said he “used to hang out with the Sureños in California” but “fled California to escape from the gangs.” An attorney for Medina says the tattoo actually stands for La Paz, Baja California Sur, the city where Ramirez Medina was born.

Deportation aside, having a tattoo can be an unfortunate connection to a past you’d rather forget.

FixingTheirLife
VICE/FACEBOOK

Whether you have a former lover’s name tattooed on your body or a gang tattoo covering your face, there are clinics that provide services for tattoo removal. Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles has given many former gang members a second chance on life they might not otherwise have. Be sure to check out the services they provide if you’re are interested in having tattoos removed.

Check out Homeboy Industries here.

READ: Homeboy Industries Removes Tattoos For Former Gang Members And Released Prisoners

This Video Captures The Moment A Latina Mom Found Out Her 25-Year-Old Son Got A Tattoo

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This Video Captures The Moment A Latina Mom Found Out Her 25-Year-Old Son Got A Tattoo

This mom was NOT HAPPY when she found out about her son’s tattoo.

Everyone knows that no matter how old you are, if you still live under your parents’ roof, then you have to follow their rules… Which sometimes includes NO TATTOOS. This 25-year-old decided to get a tattoo anyway then have his brother film her reaction. Like most moms, she wasn’t very happy. What she says to him is something we can all relate to if we have tattoos.

Of course, this mama’s reaction is no surprise.

Moms have a way of being your biggest fans, harshest critics, best friends and worst nightmare at the same time. They will make you so happy and feel so validated when they yell at other people for coming for you but that same anger can backfire at you if you act up. While there might be some moments where you wish that you didn’t have to deal with your mother, there are just so many things that only our mothers do that keep us around.

1. They rage for you.

“Latina Gif.” Digital Image. GIPHY. 10 May 2018.

Someone bullied you at school? She’ll go old school and corner that 12-year old until he gets his mom on the phone. The intimidation tactics are everything.

2. They push you…and push you…and push you.

@becafloress / Twitter

They claim to just want what’s best for us, but sometimes it is questionable. Raise your hand if your mom has ever asked you what happened to the plus at the end of your A+?

3. When food is love, it’s platos llenos all around.

@iaan_arredondo / Instagram

My non-Latinx friends would fast before coming over for dinner because turning down seconds just falls on deaf ears. “Tan flaca, mija, eat.”

4. Even when they’re enojada af, you know you’re in the clear when food arrives.

@celestiRodriguez / Twitter

There really is such a thing as comfort food and it’s virtually anything your mom brings you. We all have an emotional relationship with food.

5. No, seriously, food is the tie that keeps the bond alive.

@yettieosorio / Twitter

It would be more painful to not be invited down for la cena than it would be to be chewed out. Food=self-worth, and it’s a problematic concept to grow up with.

6. They will hunt you down if you go dark for five minutes.

@liveloud02 / Twitter

It’s like in all those movies where a girl gets kidnapped and she’s like, “My ~boyfriend~ will find me!” All hundreds of millions of us would say the same about our moms. They’re probably tracking us right now.

7. They keep you rooted.

@coxcums / Twitter

There is no end of the “When I was your age…” and the rest of those sentences are usually pretty unbelievable. I actually didn’t believe them growing up and would roll my eyes like, “yeah, right.” Now, I’m just all respect.

8. They always know what’s best for you.

@gsaauce9 / Twitter

And they’ll tell you it over and over again, even if the timing is less than sensitive. Other things they know: Don’t go outside in the rain; Put hydrogen peroxide on all your pimples; Make him meet me before he takes you out.

9. They’ll also save your soul from el diablo.

@hermionepothead / Twitter

Not going to church is not even an option in my house. The day I broke my ankle, I was forced to hobble in there. Gimme a mom that reads me Bible pages. 😭

10. They will respond to a post like this with…

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“In no world am I una nana, so no. There is no resemblance.”

11. They will teach that para limpiar es vida.

@lovingbiebo / Twitter

No matter what the house is “dirty” with. And that “one day we’ll thank them.”

12. They’ll give you body image issues, but it’s out of love.

@modernmami / Twitter

You’re always too fat or too thin, and she’s always at the ready to tell you.

13. They’ll teach you candid honesty until you want to scream.

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All her hopes and dreams are on you, so you might as well just expect to be in the spotlight. Behave yourself, siempre.

14. They worry over nothing because of how much they love you.

@ocampo408 / Twitter

They will worry themselves sick and then expect you to “know what you did.” We can only assume motherhood makes your mind go to crazy places.

15. They will also shit talk you, but with love.

@stacey_ruiz / Twitter

One of my first words as a kid was puta and I had no idea why I got smacked for saying it. I thought it was a term of endearment! HA

16. They inspire us to get loud for what we believe in.

@VICTORIAC360 / Twitter

And I mean LOUD. Every step of the way, our moms are speaking up and out, and as kids, it embarrassed us. Now, their fire burns in us.

17. They teach us tough love.

mitú

They’re never going to comfort you after you take a fall because you should have known better. And now you do. #parenting

18. They will fuss over you until you want to cry.

mitú

Stop plucking my eyebrows. Stop fiddling with my hair. JK-you’ll never actually tell them to stop unless you want to be smacked or make them cry.

19. There’s a reason they deserve two Mother’s Days.

@quiensosvos_ / Twitter

Latina moms lecture us, scold us and love us twice as much. So heap praise twice as often as you think you need to, because she needs to hear it, every day of the year.

Check out the video below to see his mom’s full reaction.

CREDIT: SERGIO LIVINGS / FACEBOOK

WATCH: This Kid Didn’t Get Home Until The Next Morning And His Mom Was Ready For Him


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