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Tattoo Removal Business Booming As Fears Of Deportation Mount

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.

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