Jay-Z hires a lawyer for 21 Savage

Rapper 21 Savage (C) attends the 2nd annual No Cap Tuesday at Gold Room on January 16, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Atlanta-based artist was recently detained by ICE, later revealing he was actually born in the U.K.

Atlanta-based rapper 21 Savage was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) earlier this week, after it was revealed that he was actually born in the United Kingdom.

Jay-Z has now hired a lawyer for the star, according to TMZ. Writing in a statement, Jay said: “In addition to being a successful recording artist, Savage deserves to be reunited with his children immediately."

He added that 21 Savage’s arrest was “an absolute travesty.” According to Jay, the rapper has had a pending US Visa application for years.

The lawyer, Alex Spiro also spoke to TMZ about the situation. “We are not going to stop until he is released, bonded out or in front of a judge.

Rapper 21 Savage attends Motel 21 ' I Am > I Was'  Private Listening Experience on December 21, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.Rapper 21 Savage attends Motel 21 ' I Am > I Was' Private Listening Experience on December 21, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

"What we have here is someone who overstayed their Visa with an application pending for four years—not a convicted criminal that needs to be detained and removed but, by all accounts a wonderful person, father, and entertainer who has a marijuana offense which was vacated and sealed," he said.

It was previously confirmed that Savage was born in the United Kingdom, explaining that he arrived in America legally at the age of 7. He stayed there until 2005, when, at the age of 12, he visited the United Kingdom for approximately one month.

"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," the hip-hop star's lawyers said in a statement. "Unfortunately, in 2006 Mr. Abraham-Joseph’s legal status expired through no fault of his own."

21 Savage performs onstage during Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest21 Savage performs onstage during Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest

The rapper, real name Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, currently has three U.S. Citizen children, a lawful permanent resident mother and four siblings that are either US Citizens or lawful permanent residents, according to his lawyers.

In a separate statement, his legal team also described the arrest as a "civil law violation." While 21 Savage is still awaiting the outcome of his case, he's seen support from the likes of Cardi B, Meek Mill and Offset. Now, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson has written a character statement to the immigration judge handling Abraham-Joseph's case.

The Georgia representative highlighted how the 26-year-old has helped his local community, urging the judge to decide against deportation. "He was raised and spent his formative years in and around Atlanta, and he has developed deep family roots and personal ties to our wonderful state of Georgia, and to Gwinnett and DeKalb counties, in particular," his letter began.

"I know [21] to be a remarkable young man. He spends his time giving back to our community and has been living a life of paying it forward. I believe that it would be a serious hardship to [21's] family and a loss for our community if he is not allowed bail so that he can be released from detention. … He has been an outstanding figure and influence within his family and within Atlanta."

 

The Black Lives Matter movement also started a petition to save the rapper from deportation, with the hashtag #Free21Savage. 

"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 petition reads. "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!"

At the time of publication, the petition has reached almost 217,000 signatures. 

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