21 Savage was arrested by ICE officers over the weekend, but his attorney is striking back.
Charles H. Kuck is the rapper’s immigration attorney and says the government used incorrect information to arrest his client.
ICE is also refusing to release the rapper on a bond of any amount, saying he’s a potential flight risk. In a statement, Kuck says his client never hid his immigration status from the 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.”
Kuk further asserts that his client has a pending visa application on file with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. He also says that his client has children that he supports who are US citizens, making him eligible for relief from deportation.
When the news broke about his immigration-related arrest, several celebrities jumped to 21 Savage’s defense.
Both Cardi B and Nicki Minaj jumped to defend him after conservative host Tomi Lahren jumped on the immigration aspect of the case.
When you’re in the country illegally, you get deported. I didn’t write the law and neither did ICE. They enforce it. I hope @21savage is able to get an entertainment visa or become a citizen one day.
P.S. My ancestors did discover America https://t.co/sXzQaD4Kd5
— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) February 4, 2019
21 Savage is not currently charged with a crime, aside from overstaying a visa obtained when he was 13.
This isn’t helping his street cred, however. The rapper has portrayed himself as an Atlanta-based native who grew up on the city’s rough eastside. In reality, he is from the United Kingdom and arrived in the United States when he was a teenager.
Meanwhile, the Grammys are happening this Sunday with host Alicia Keys, though 21 Savage may be absent. It’s unlikely that the rapper will be released on bail to attend the show in which he is nominated for two awards, including Best Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance.
The news that 21 Savage is from the U.K. came as a surprise to both fans and critics. But instead of sympathy, social media quickly dragged the rapper for hiding his true roots. Sure, deportation sucks and all, but Twitter simply loves outing a celebrity caught fabricating.
Here’s the full statement from Kuck:
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.
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.
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.