A Mexican immigrant, married to a U.S. citizen, has been denied re-entry into the United States because of gang related tattoos. His wife filed a lawsuit after he left the country to retrieve an immigrant visa, that he needed to move forward in his pursuit of US residency, and was not allowed back into the country. He has not seen his wife or children in over one year.

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Ruben Zamora, 29, illegally migrated to the US with his family in 1994 when he was only 8-years-old. He met Texas born Vanessa Ruiz in 2004 and soon after the pair married and had children. In an attempt to better provide for his family, the undocumented Zamora decided to pursue permanent residency.

The first step to US residency was to attain an immigrant visa, so Zamora travelled back to Mexico in July of 2014 with the expectation that he would be able to return to the US; that was not the case. His request to return from Mexico was denied by the American Consulate because officials said he has gang tattoos and, therefore, is part of a criminal enterprise.

The state department declined to comment due to confidentiality requirements for visa applicants, but they did send an email to Zamora’s lawyers reaffirming their belief in his criminal past.

“Reason to believe refers to more than mere suspicion; it is a probability, supported by the facts, that the alien is a member of an organized criminal entity.”

Ruiz claims that her husband is being condemned for mistakes he made as a teen. She and his lawyers say Zamora got the tattoos, along with friends, when he was just a teenager before they had any gang meaning, simply because they looked cool. While those friends may have continued down the wrong path, Zamora wanted more for himself.

My kids, like every day they ask me for their dad . . . When is he coming back and I don’t have an answer for them.

It’s really tough. He’s no gang member. He’s always been working.

The mother of two describes life without her husband: She says she was almost put out on the street and had to request government assistance just to pay the bills since Zamora was the bread winner of her family. Legal Services NYC even had to step in and help her.

As of now, the only thing that could change the consulate’s decision and bring Zamora home to his family is new proof of his innocence. How his family will be able to attain “new” evidence with him out of the country for over a year now is the question. Sounds like a set up for failure if you ask me. What do you think? Tell us in the comments below!

Too see pictures of the tattoos that got him banished, hit up the gallery!

Source: NY Daily News