May 23, 2008

Slick Rick Gets A Pardon From NYC Governor

Rapper Slick Rick was issued an official pardon by New York Governor David A. Paterson today (May 23), in a final attempt to prevent the pioneering rapper from being deported to the United Kingdom.

The 43-year-old rapper has been locked in a battle in Federal Immigration Court fighting deportation, due to a 1991 conviction on two counts of attempted murder and weapons offenses.

Slick Rick, born Ricky Walters, is facing deportation due to a federal statute that requires a lawful resident alien to be removed from the country upon conviction of an aggravated felony or a weapon offense.

"Mr. Walters has fully served the sentence imposed upon him for his convictions, had an exemplary disciplinary record while in prison and on parole, and has been living without incident in the community for more than 10 years," said Governor Paterson. "In that time, he has volunteered at youth outreach programs to counsel youth against violence, and has become a symbol of rehabilitation for many young people. Given these demonstrated rehabilitative efforts, I urge federal immigration officials to once again grant Mr. Walters relief from deportation, so that he is not separated from his many family members who are United States citizens, including his two teenage children."

Slick Rick was born in the U.K. but was lawfully admitted into the United States at age 11, where he was raised in the Bronx.

"My family and I are eternally thankful to Governor Paterson, my attorneys Michael Krinsky and Craig Kaplan at Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky & Lieberman and to all of the people who have supported me throughout the past seventeen years," Slick Rick told in a statement. "This has been a long and difficult road and I am happy for this to be settled once and for all. I look forward to enjoying this time with my family and friends and to continue leading an honest and productive life."

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