The detainment of 21 Savage has been a major topic of conversation over the past few days. Many have been hoping he would be released by now but the rapper is still in ICE’s custody. However, with the amount of news that’s emerged in the days since his arrest, his legal team released a statement to clarify a few of the details.
21 Savage’s legal team has clarified a few details including his residency status. In the statement released by his lawyers, they explained that 21 came to America at 7 years old — not 12 as ICE claimed. They said that he stayed in the U.S. until June 2005 when he briefly went back to the U.K. However, he returned in July 2005 with a valid H-4 visa. The visa later expired the following year and “lost his legal status through no fault of his own.”
His legal team also detailed why he should be released on bond. They said that 21 isn’t a flight risk or a danger to his community. His legal team also called out ICE for providing false information to the press pertaining to the rapper’s criminal record. “Mr. Abraham-Joseph has no criminal convictions or charges under state or federal law and is free to seek relief from removal in immigration court. ICE provided incorrect information to the press when it claimed he had a criminal conviction,” it reads.
The statement also addressed speculation that 21 Savage’s detainment was prompted by the version of “A Lot” he performed on Jimmy Fallon where he addressed immigration issues.
Peep the full statement below.
Atlanta, GA – February 5, 2019 – There has been a great deal of misreporting in the case of She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, known professionally as 21 Savage. Conjecture and misinformation help no one make good decisions and leads to false conclusions. Here are the facts:
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Mr. Abraham-Joseph was born in the United Kingdom. Mr. Abraham-Joseph arrived legally in the United states at the age of 7 under an H-4 visa. He remained in the United States until June 2005, when he departed for approximately one month to visit the United Kingdom. He returned to the United States under a valid H-4 visa on July 22, 2005. Mr. Abraham-Joseph has been continuously physically present in the United States for almost 20 years, except for a brief visit abroad. Unfortunately, in 2006 Mr. Abraham-Joseph lost his legal status through no fault of his own.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph, like almost two million of his immigrant child peers, was left without immigration status as a young child with no way to fix his immigration status. These “Dreamers” come from all walks of life and every ethnicity. Mr. Abraham-Joseph has no criminal convictions or charges under state or federal law and is free to seek relief from removal in immigration court. ICE provided incorrect information to the press when it claimed he had a criminal conviction.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph has three US Citizen children, a lawful permanent resident mother and four siblings that are either US Citizens or lawful permanent residents. He has exceptionally strong ties in the United States, having lived here since he was in the first grade. Because of his length of residence in the United States and his immediate relatives, Mr. Abraham-Joseph is eligible to seek Cancellation of Removal from an Immigration Judge.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph was placed into deportation proceedings AFTER his arrest, he was not in deportation proceedings prior to this detention by ICE. DHS has known his address since the filing of a U visa application in 2017. He has never hidden from DHS or any of its agencies.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph is not subject to mandatory detention under federal law and is eligible for bond. By statute, bond should be granted by ICE when there is no flight risk or a danger to the community. ICE has the ability to set a bond and conditions of release on cases exactly like this. ICE routinely grants bond to individuals in Mr. Abraham-Joseph’s circumstances, specifically individuals who have overstayed a prior valid visa and have relief from deportation under federal law. There is no chance that Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a flight risk. Mr. Abraham-Joseph is not a “danger” to the community as his acts of philanthropy and good will, as well as his music, continue to improve the communities from which he comes.