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27.02.2019 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 1/2020

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 1/2020

Tattoo Removal as a Resettlement Service to Reduce Incarceration Among Mexican Migrants

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health > Ausgabe 1/2020
Pedro Kremer, Miguel Pinedo, Natalie Ferraiolo, Adriana Carolina Vargas-Ojeda, Jose Luis Burgos, Victoria D. Ojeda
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In Mexico, tattooed migrants face discrimination and are at high-risk of incarceration, thus, we assessed whether receiving laser tattoo removal affected the likelihood of incarceration. In 2015–2016, 89 adults ages ≥ 18 years with visible tattoos were recruited at a free-clinic to receive laser tattoo removal or assigned to the wait-list; all completed baseline and 6-month questionnaires. Overall, 97.8% of participants ever migrated to the USA. In multivariate analyses restricted to migrants (n = 87), those receiving laser tattoo removal [Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) 0.27, 95% CI 0.07–0.89] and possessing a Mexican Voting card (AOR 0.14; 95% CI 0.03–0.58) were significantly less likely than wait-list participants to be incarcerated at 6-months. Previously incarcerated participants were significantly more likely to be incarcerated at follow-up. Tattoo removal may reduce incarceration among Mexican migrants. Future studies can assess other health and social benefits of tattoo removal for migrants/deportees returning to Mexico.

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