Should Foreign Hells Angels Be Allowed in the United States?
The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club has filed a lawsuit against several federal agency heads -- including Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- claiming the group's foreign members have been wrongfully banned from entering the United States.
The federal lawsuit contends that several foreign Hells Angels members applied for visas last year to attend one of the club's major events in New Hampshire, and they were denied, based on their membership with the Hells Angels.
The lawsuit recognizes that Homeland Security and the Department of State made an agreement to define the Hells Angels as a "known criminal organization" in the Department of State's Foreign Affairs Manual -- thus making them ineligible to obtain a visa.
But, according to the lawsuit, "[m]any members" of the Hells Angels don't have criminal records, and the club says it's not a "criminal organization."
Well, they are a "street gang" in Maricopa County -- at least, according to disbarred and disgraced ex-County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
The Hells Angels are ultimately seeking a permanent injunction against the rules that are keeping its members from getting visas -- which would likely apply to other biker gangs listed by the State Department, like the Outlaws, Bandidos, and Mongols, as well as street gangs like MS 13 and the 18th Street gang.
That said, should the feds let the Angels in?
Cast your vote below:
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.