21 Savage‘s lawyer has spoken out after the rapper was arrested by US Immigration officials who say that he is actually from the UK.
The rapper, real name Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, allegedly arrived in the US in July 2005 aged 12 and failed to leave when his visa expired a year later.
One of his lawyers, Charles H. Kuck, now claims that the rapper’s arrest was “based upon incorrect information about prior criminal charges” and accused the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of violating civil law.
Kuck’s ardent defence comes after another lawyer, Dina LaPolt, claimed that his arrest was based on a “misunderstanding.”
“ICE detained She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, the well-known Atlanta based recording artist and songwriter also known as “21 Savage”. Based upon incorrect information about prior criminal charges and now refusing to release him on bond of any amount, despite the fact that he has a pending U-Visa application (as the victim of crime) with USCIS, and that he has relief from removal available to him,” said Kuck in a statement.
“Mr. Abraham-Joseph has never hid his immigration status from the US government. The Department of Homeland Security has known his address and his history since his filing for the U Visa in 2017, yet they took no action against him until this past weekend. ICE can only continue to detain individuals who are a threat the community or a flight risk to not show up at their hearings.
“Obviously, our client is not a flight risk, as he is widely recognizable, and a prominent member of the music industry. Likewise, Mr. Abraham-Joseph’s is clearly not a danger to the community, and in fact, his contributions to local communities and schools that he grew up in are examples of the type of immigrant we want in America.”
Kuck continued: “ICE has not charged Mr. Abraham-Joseph with any crime. As a minor, his family overstayed their work visas, and he, like almost two million other children, was left without legal status through no fault of his own. This is a civil law violation, and the continued detention of Mr. Abraham-Joseph serves no other purpose than to unnecessarily punish him and try to intimidate him into giving up his right to fight to remain in the United States.
“He rose above the difficult circumstances of his youth to achieve success and make contributions to our society that rival any of those by a natural born citizen. Mr. Abraham-Joseph has US citizen children that he supports and is eligible for relief from deportation. We and he will fight for his release, for his family, and his right to remain in our country. No one would expect less from him.”
The bold defence comes after Black Lives Matter also defended 21 Savage and claimed that his arrest followed a pattern of discrimination against black immigrants in the US.
“The circumstances of Mr. Abraham-Joseph’s detention stand as a testament to the consistent and historically under-reported harassment and targeting of Black immigrants. The US’ violent history of criminalizing Blackness intersects with its deadly legacy of detaining and deporting Black and Brown immigrants. This needs to stop today!,” the group said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Demi Lovato yesterday left Twitter after facing backlash for admitting that she was enjoying a series of memes that emerged in the wake of the rapper’s arrest.