Supreme Court Ruled Against A Los Angeles Couple Denied A Visa Due To The Husband’s Tattoos

( – There’s been a lot of focus on immigration lately, particularly with the border crisis and the fact that many gang members have made their way into the United States. Most MS-13 gang members, for instance, have tattoos that make them identifiable and make it easier for authorities to deny them entry. However, one Los Angeles woman has been fighting for years to allow her husband to come live with her, but he’s being denied in part because of his unique body markings.

Sandra Muñoz married her husband, Luis Asencio-Cordero, in 2010. He traveled to El Salvador, where he’s from, in 2015 to obtain a visa to live in the United States, but it was denied. Part of the reason for his denial was that he has tattoos that the Department of State said likely associated the man with MS-13. The agency has a policy of denying entry to those they deem might participate in unlawful activity.

Muñoz, a civil rights attorney, sued the State Department, saying denying her husband’s visa violated her marriage rights. She denied that Asencio-Cordero was a criminal and said he had never committed any crimes. An appeals court earlier ruled in the couple’s favor, but President Joe Biden’s administration sued and asked the court to reverse the decision, denying her right to marriage was violated because nothing prevented her from living outside the US with her husband. The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court.

On Friday, June 21, the justices voted 6 to 3 against Muñoz. The written decision, penned by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, notes that while Muñoz has the right to marriage, “a citizen does not have a fundamental liberty interest in her noncitizen spouse being admitted to the country.” Further, Justice Barrett said that the position is a contentious one because ruling in her favor could “usher in a new strain of constitutional law.”

Yet, the case has a bittersweet note to it, too. President Joe Biden issued an executive order offering protections for immigrant spouses who had been in the country for at least 10 years. Had Muñoz’s husband never left the US, he would have been protected by that order. Now, the couple’s attorney is trying to get Biden to take action that would also see his clients reunited.

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