The Immigration and Naturalization Services
(INS) issued a ruling last week to deport rapper Slick Rick back to his birthplace
of England. Rick’s lawyers filed a motion to stay the deportation, but the judge
has not ruled, which means the Bronx-bred rapper could be sent back at any moment.
He has been a resident of the United States Since 1976, but never became a citizen.
Today (Dec. 3), The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network and John Conyers, the head
of the Congressional Black Caucus and ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee,
issued a plea to stop the INS deportation proceedings and at least grant Rick
bond while the case is still being heard. Conyers has been a vocal critic of
the Justice Department’s policy of secrecy in regards to immigration hearings
“Slick Rick is one of our leading hip-hop artists,” Minister Ben Muhammad, President
Of HHSN told AllHipHop.com. “We in the hop hop community will not stand idle
and allow his deportation to go unchallenged.”
Slick Rick was detained by the INS six months ago after he left America, venturing
into international waters to perform aboard a cruise ship. The rapper is being
held in a federal prison in Bradenton, Florida.
“I feel like if this case was judged by the public, this would be an open and
shut case,” Rick told AllHipHop.com. “I took the law into my own hands. I shouldnt
have, but I served my time. Even the public as a whole has to see that this
is an injustice. Like I said, theres other cases thats worse than this.” Supporters
of Slick Rick maintain the rapper the rapper has preserved an extremely stable
home life with a wife and children and managed a successful recording career.
The rapper has not broken the law once since being released.
“Slick Rick has already served six months in prison, with no bond hearing,”
Minister Ben continued. “We feel that his lengthy detainment with no bond hearing
alone is a violation of his civil rights. Now he may be deported at any moment.”
Rick served 5 years and 12 days in prison. According to United States law, any
non-citizen who serves more than 5 years in prison must be deported.