One and a half years after “Slick Rick” Walters was jailed for
immigrations violations, the rapper’s release was ordered by a U.S.
District Court Judge and his deportation was halted.
Judge Kimba Wood reinstated a 1995 waiver that allowed Walters
to remain in the country despite having been convicted of a felony
(an attempted murder charge from 1991, for which he served more
than three years in prison). U.S. law specifies that foreign
nationals who commit crimes must be deported, but due to Walters’
family, business and career — all rooted in the U.S. rather than
England (where he was born) — the ruling permitted him to stay.
The Bureau of Immigration Affairs tried to overrule that ruling in
1997, a decision which Judge Wood said denied Walters due
Walters had been on a Caribbean cruise in the summer of 2002.
Upon his return on June 1st of that year, he was arrested for
illegally re-entering the country. He made four requests for bail,
but INS declared him a flight risk and he spent the next eighteen
months in a Bradenton, Florida, jail. Last December, he was to be
deported, but Wood intervened.
“I am grateful that the judge stopped my deportation,” Walters
said just last week. “I totally understand that homeland security
is going through changes. But this back and forth with INS is
Walters credits his last release with allowing him to get his
life back in order after the 1991 conviction. “It was heaven for
me,” he said. “I was able to return home and be with my kids. I got
married, and put the pieces of my life back together again. I was
proud and grateful and enjoying my freedom.”
With this release, Walters will again rejoin his family, but
this time out he’ll have a different set of issues with which to
deal. Two weeks ago, a North Carolina man was arrested just outside
of Walters’ Bronx, New York, home. The man, Steven Glenn, had been
arrested previously in North Carolina on charges of identity and
mail fraud, after attempting to co-opt Walters’ identity while he
was in prison. No charges had been filed against Glenn in New York,
but last week he was being held at Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center