Hip-hop pioneer Slick Rick is once again facing deportation by the US government because of his conviction in the early ’90s on attempted murder charges. Rick, whose real name is Richard Walters, recently had his status as a permanent US resident revoked along with his right to leave and re-enter the country. On September 21, the 2nd Circuit Appeals Court in New York overturned a 2003 ruling that freed the British-born rapper from prison and allowed him to remain a US resident. At the urging of the Department of Homeland Security, the Appeals Court has ordered that the case be heard once again in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Miami, where Rick was arrested in 2002 after a performance on a cruise ship in international waters.
Since the events of September 11, 2001, the government has embarked on what some have described as an overzealous campaign of deportation against non-citizens, particularly those with criminal convictions. Russell Simmons and Dr. Benjamin Chavis of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network intend to hold a press conference in New York City on October 24th in order to raise awareness of the situation and show support for Slick Rick.