Supreme Court of United States will decide whether to review the case of the immigrant whose green card application was denied because of his tattoos

Supreme Court of United States will decide whether to review the case of the immigrant whose green card application was denied because of his tattoos

In a case that has generated controversy, the Supreme Court will have to decide whether to review the application of an immigrant whose petition for permanent residence in the United States, known as green card or green card, was denied because of his tattoos.

The case stemmed from a lawsuit filed in January 2017 by Sandra Muñoz, a U.S. citizen and civil rights attorney, and her husband, Luis Asencio-Cordero, originally from El Salvador.

The couple married in 2010 and have been fighting to obtain Asencio-Cordero’s permanent residency ever since.

Case Background

Sandra Muñoz, a 53-year-old U.S. citizen, and Luis Asencio-Cordero, a 46-year-old native of El Salvador, married in 2010. Asencio-Cordero lived in the United States from 2005 to 2015.

In 2015, he traveled to El Salvador for an interview at the U.S. consulate as part of his application for permanent residency. However, consular authorities denied her visa and would not allow her to return to the United States.

Appeal and recognition of rights

Following the visa denial, Muñoz and Asencio-Cordero appealed the decision and, in October 2022, a panel of judges of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recognized the rights of U.S. citizens applying for visas for their immediate family members.

The court ruled that U.S. citizen spouses of visa applicants are entitled to due process and must be provided with a factual reason why their spouse’s visa was denied.

Tattoos as grounds for denial

According to court documents, Luis Asencio-Cordero’s tattoos were cited as the reason for denying him an immigrant visa in 2017. These tattoos included images of the Virgin of Guadalupe, theater masks and gambling symbols.

Consulate officials interpreted these tattoos as MS-13 gang affiliation, which was denied by Asencio-Cordero and supported by a court-approved gang expert.

Lack of explanations in visa denials.

When a U.S. embassy or consulate denies a visa application, officials are not required to provide a detailed explanation for the decision. In most cases, no explanations are provided to applicants.

This lack of transparency has been the subject of criticism and has created uncertainty in many immigration cases.

Impact of the case on other immigrants

Supreme Court’s decision in this case could have a significant impact on other similar cases where immigrants with tattoos have been denied immigration benefits, such as adjustment of status.

If the Supreme Court decides to review the case, it is expected to clarify the consulate decision-making process and provide greater clarity to applicants.

Repercussions for the family

Visa denial has kept Asencio-Cordero’s family apart since 2015. After nearly eight years of struggle, Asencio-Cordero’s attorneys estimate that if the Supreme Court accepts the case, he will likely finally receive the visa and be able to return to the U.S. to await a green card.

Conclusion

Case of Luis Asencio-Cordero, whose green card application was denied because of his tattoos, has reached the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s decision will have a significant impact on other similar cases and could provide greater clarity and transparency in the consulate decision-making process.

In the meantime, Asencio-Cordero’s family is hopeful that justice will be served and they will be allowed to be reunited in the United States.