Italian band deported from US for “illegal immigration”

An Italian band on their way to South by Southwest (SXSW) have been arrested and deported for “illegal immigration”, according to reports.

Post-punk outfit Soviet Soviet were due to play a series of gigs at the Austin, Texas festival, as well as perform for Seattle’s KEXP radio station.

The band arrived in Seattle on Wednesday, but were denied entry by US customs officials after being interrogated for four hours. The members were then jailed overnight before being put on a plane back to Italy the next day.

In a post on their Facebook page, they say they were not able to contact their families or record label, and were not given their phones of bags back until they were ready to board the plane home. They also say customs officials spoke directly to the head of their US label, but still concluded they were trying to enter the country illegally.

“We left Italy headed towards the US with all necessary documents, passports and various declarations in which we clearly explained the purpose of our tour, confirming it is was strictly promotional and that we were in no way going to earn money from it or receive any form of payment,” Soviet Soviet state in the post.

“We knew that if we were to receive any compensation we would have had to apply for work visas. This was not the case and the people we spoke to for information told us we would be fine. We had not agreed on any payment whatsoever and the scheduled showcase performance at KEXP was most certainly not a paid performance.”

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