SAN PABLO (KPIX 5) — An East Bay tattoo removal clinic says they’ve treated a record number of clients since the election.

Some in the Latino community worry ICE agents will use their tattoos as an excuse to stop them and check immigration status.

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The number of customers has doubled. Typically, people go in to remove an ex-lover’s name or get rid of tattoos for job interviews.

But the fear of deportation is a new reason.

“A lot of people don’t want to be a moving target or even seen as a target,” says Nora Ruiz of the San Pablo Economic Development Corporation. “And for fear that they might be seen as a certain type of person or judged in anyway, people want to get their tattoos removed.”

There’s no evidence suggesting ICE agents are targeting people based on tattoos but people with gang ties or criminal backgrounds are at risk.

It appears some people aren’t taking any chances.

Comments (73)
  1. Kevin Brown says:

    If ICE wants to target tattoos I don’t blame them. There many DREAMers who belong to gangs and use their newly minted SSNs to get welfare benefits.

  2. I thought a little extra tax money was coming out of my checks, must need more welfare for tattoo removal?

  3. Good luck with removing the neck and face tattoos. Its not just the tattoo that identifies one as a thug!

  4. Mark Meyer says:

    Only a paper in San Francisoco could link tattoo removal with deportation. What a joke. Tattoo have had their day. Now anyone with a brain wants them gone…if you want a good job.

  5. As a business owner I can tell you illegal or not, your tattoos will close the door on good job prospects. It’s time to get these pearls of wisdom off your body.
    Tattoos have been used for thousands of years to mark status and to announce ones statement. Unfortunately for you tattoo lovers, in today’s world the statement your making is one of low self worth. And to the “40 something” woman with the tramp stamp….. well enough said.

  6. Red says:

    How about getting the bad spot in your brain removed that makes you want a tattoo in the first place?

  7. Tattoos are ugly body graffiti. Eventually, some people come out of denial of this classless self-mutilation and get them removed.

  8. Paull Cudak says:

    ANY REASON for them to be spotted and removed is OK by me. If you are here Legally, I have no problem at all, If you are here Illegally GTFO! NO MATTER THE RACE, COLOR, ETHNICITY, or RELIGION

  9. LK Campbell says:

    Every illegal should be deported. No questions, no hesitations. Get out and stay out.

  10. pyeatte says:

    I am 71 and happy to say I have never had the urge to get a tattoo…except for one time in the service, and I resisted then, so no tattoo.

  11. Tattoos create freaks…and regrets.

  12. Yes. Some memebers of Mexican and South American GANGS that are notorious for murder, rape, gun and drug smuggling and pimping twelve year olds are getting their gang signs removed. What does it say that in America under Obama these people felt confident to roam our streets their tats declaring for all to see what they were and no one did a thing to protect our vulnerable citizens from them? If they are now nervous they will be deported GOOD! If we had four more years of Democrats these people would have started killing people and burying them in mass graves like they do down in Mexico. Why do Democrats put non citizens over the rights of citizens?

  13. I had a small tattoo done 37 years ago, a small rose on my upper arm. I wear T shirts so hardly anyone sees it. The stuff that people are getting done, today, is ugly, especially on the face and neck. It speaks to me of ‘thug.’ I’m not going to pay to have mine removed because I really don’t care about it but I would not have another one done. Tats might be fashionable at the moment but fashions come and go, and there’s going to be a lot of really old ugly people with blurry inking on their bodies.

  14. Clinic says record number of clients but makes no mention of who they are. A lot of businesses have seen a boom since the election (inconvienient fact). Then: some Economic Development liberal show up and has done a study in her head to determine these are all fearful Latinos and makes an anti-Trump conclusion (surprise. lol) This is #fakenews

  15. See, securing the border is good for business.

  16. Does anyone fear God? If they do not, they are a fool. The Bible clearly teaches that this is something that displeases God. Moreover, in case someone says, “That’s the Old Testament, and a Christian is not bound by this, tattoos are listed in the section of the Bible declared in Acts 15, i.e. Pollutions of Idols.

  17. Tattoos are a great way to determine gang affiliations and are a starting point for looking into an individuals background. Excessive tattooing makes employment difficult.

  18. Cam Kirmser says:

    If you’re here illegally, you SHOULD live in fear.

  19. “Typically” people remove an ex-lover’s name or to prepare for a job interview.

    Funny that the report offered no insight about what kind of tattoos constitute the increase.

    Gang affiliation perhaps?

  20. Funny how desperate the media is to push their narrative. People just removing them because they were a passing fad isn’t good because the media is in love with defilement. Better to inject some victim narrative and Trump bashing.

  21. The article was about how SOME of the people getting tattoos removed are possible gang members. So why are some people concerned that the reason may be that gang members might be targeted by ICE. Nothing wrong with that.

  22. Marty Lopez says:

    Another terrible story with no information whatsoever regards cost of removal, difficulty of removal, success of removal. Click bait posing as journalism

  23. Robert Mull says:

    Not to worry they will get rounded up anyways.. Maybe they should have a good protest and fly their mexican flag, We promise we will not grab you LOL LOL Not to worry you will be home soon enough..

  24. it sucks that there is MS-13 in my neighborhood and the cops can’t deport them.

  25. Hard to imagine where a person with an MS13 tatoo should not be closely looked at to determine if they are someone we can deport.

  26. Tattoos create freaks and regrets…

  27. Tango Victor says:

    ji ji ji ji ji ji ji (English he he he he he he he)

  28. David Alster says:

    America is getting cleaned up.

  29. Smart of them to figure out their tats would get them in trouble. Stupid to have gotten them in the first place. Anyone who gets large tattoos has no foresight at all. They are assuming they will always be losers. And most of them are right.

  30. Stu Pedasso says:

    Making America great again, even for the homies. ; )

  31. Tattoos are just little warning labels. “This person makes long term poor judgments”. The more visible, the stronger the warning.