ITALIAN ROCK BAND TRAVELING TO SXSW WERE DETAINED, INTERROGATED AND THEN DEPORTED BACK TO ITALY

Italian rock band Soviet Soviet was scheduled to perform next week at the South by Southwest Music Festival

But according to a statement from the band posted on Facebook, they were forced to cancel their festival showcases and a few other promotional appearances when they were denied entry to the U.S. and detained on Wednesday. They were deported the following day.

According to the band, when they arrived in Seattle, they provided passport control officers with documentation that they were traveling under the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, a letter from their American record label declaring that the band was in the country for promotional purposes only and their letter of invitation from SXSW.

The three band members say they were detained and individually interrogated by customs agents. During this time, they say, they were able to put the agents in touch with the American owner of their record label, who pleaded their case, but after four hours of interrogation, the customs agents decided to send them back to Italy.

“They declared us illegal immigrants even if our intention was by no means to look for work in the United States nor never go back to Italy,” the band said in the statement.

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