Killer Mike, Talib Kweli Protest SXSW’s Immigration Policy; Festival Organizers Blame U.S. Laws

(AllHipHop News) Organizers for the famed SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas have issued an apology, after a group of musicians banded together to oppose the festival’s immigration policies and practices.

Organizers for SXSW are accused of threatening to have the international artists playing on the bill deported, if they performed at any other official SXSW event in Austin, Texas.

Rappers like Killer Mike, Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, and other artists signed a petition, after learning of a clause, which is baked into contracts the festival issued to the artists.

“As artists and part of the musical community of SXSW, we’re outraged to learn that the festival has been threatening artists who are not U.S. citizens with targeted immigration enforcement and deportation for playing at unofficial showcases,” the petition reads. “In light of recent attacks on immigrant communities, this practice is particularly chilling. We are calling on SXSW to immediately drop this clause from their contract, and cease any collusion with immigration officials that puts performers in danger.”

The petition demanded that the SXSW organizers immediately remove the offending part of the contract, in addition to issuing an apology.

Organizers for the SXSW the festival did not back down and issued a statement saying their hands were tied, due to U.S. immigration laws:

SXSW has been vocal in its opposition to President Trump’s Travel Ban and is working hard to build a coalition of attorneys to assist artists with issues at U.S. ports of entry during the event.

We have artists from 62 countries from around the world performing and have always supported our international music community. We have never reported international showcasing artists to immigration authorities.

We were sorry to learn that one of…