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Homeboy Industries Removes Tattoos For Former Gang Members And Released Prisoners

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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.

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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.

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