Hip-hop legend Slick Rick was released from a Florida jail on Friday
(07NOV03), more than 17 months after United States immigration officials
attempted to deport him.
The elated British-born rapper is now heading home to his wife and
children in New York.
He declares, "I am fine. It feels good, fresh air, a new beginning."
Slick Rick, real name RICKY WALTERS, was cleared for release earlier this
month (NOV03) by federal judge KIMBA WOOD, who ruled the BOARD OF IMMIGRATION
APPEALS should never have reversed its earlier decision that Walters could stay
United States despite a criminal conviction.
The 38-year-old rapper, who moved to America at the age of 11, was held in
2002 as he returned to Florida after a week-long gig aboard a cruise ship. Only
after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and the subsequent crackdown
was Walters detained, says his publicist BILL ADLER.
Slick Rick's celebrity supporters have included Chris Rock and Will Smith.