Slick Rick’s storytelling ability is sharper than ever. In a new article he penned for The Huffington Post, the legendary MC details his 23-year struggle to obtain U.S. citizenship and offers a solution to what he deems a “broken” immigration system.
The NYC rap pioneer, who hails from the United Kingdom, officially became an American citizen in April 2016. The announcement came after more than two decades of court battles, which left Slick Rick frustrated and fed up by the U.S. immigration system.
In the article, titled “My Experience With the Broken Immigration System,” Slick Rick writes, “Many immigrants die in prison, some by suicide. All are treated like prisoners, when their only crime is their desire to live in the U.S. These excessive and harmful detentions check in at a taxpayer expense of almost one billion (yes billion!) dollars per year. We could easily return to the old system of allowing immigrants to remain free on bond while monitoring their activities. However, such humane action won’t satisfy the prisons-for-profit mentality that now pervades.”
He continues, writing, “The sad truth of is that my 23-year immigration journey was unnecessary and damaging. My case should have ended when the judge entered the order supporting my right to remain in the United States. We need to reinvent a system of immigration justice that grants fair, speedy hearings, free from prolonged incarceration, where an immigration judge can exercise common sense that balances a person’s misdeeds, if any, against his positive contributions to the community. This course will not only relieve a costly burden to taxpayers, it will reaffirm America’s values and commitment to human rights.”
Slick Rick is one of the most iconic names in hip-hop. He linked up with fellow legend Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew in 1984 before changing the game with his original style on the mic. The 51-year-old “La-Di-Da-Di” producer had a few run-ins with the law during his career, but he is best known for his influential work.
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