Judge Puts Last-Minute Hold On Slick Rick's Deportation

U.S. district court judge grants emergency stay so she can consider rapper's case.

Rapper Slick Rick got a late Christmas gift Friday afternoon — an emergency stay of deportation.

According to Rick's lawyer, the British-born, Bronx-bred rapper narrowly escaped being deported to England (see "Slick Rick One Step Closer To Being Deported"). "Before this decision, he was out the door tonight or tomorrow," attorney Alex Solomiany said. "But now he's not. This is the first good news we've heard for Slick Rick."

Rick, born Ricky Walters, has been detained since June in his ongoing struggle with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the stay, which keeps Walters in the U.S. while she considers his case and requests additional information.

While that doesn't mean Walters is completely in the clear, Solomiany said the decision indicates there's a strong chance he'll avoid deportation, which should be good news to the rapper's wife, Mandy, who left for England on Thursday to set up for her husband's pending move.

According to U.S. immigration law, any non-citizen who serves more than five years in prison for a felony conviction is automatically deported, and Walters served five years and 12 days in prison in 1996 for an attempted-murder rap.