21 Savage Arrested by ICE for Allegedly Being Illegal Immigrant
UPDATE: On Feb. 4, the law firm representing 21 Savage after his arrest for being an alleged illegal immigrant on Sunday (Feb. 3) released a statement on behalf of 21. In the statement, it's claimed that the charges leveled against 21 are based upon "incorrect information about prior criminal charges" while insisting that 21 isn't a flight risk, so he should be allowed to post bond.
See the whole statement below.
"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 hidden 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."
21 Savage was arrested for allegedly being an illegal immigrant in Atlanta on Sunday (Feb. 3).
The "A Lot" rhymer, born Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was taken into custody by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who say the rapper is actually a citizen of the United Kingdom and residing in the U.S. unlawfully, reports WSBTV Atlanta.
According to ICE spokesman Bryan Cox, “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested unlawfully present United Kingdom national Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph AKA ‘21 Savage’ during a targeted operation with federal and local law enforcement partners early Sunday in metro Atlanta. Mr. Abraham-Joseph was taken into ICE custody as he is unlawfully present in the U.S. and also a convicted felon.”
Authorities say the rapper initially came to the U.S. legally in July 2005 with a non-immigrant visa. When his visa expired in July 2006, he failed to leave the country.
Federal agents tell the Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Mr. Abraham-Joseph is presently in ICE custody in Georgia and has been placed into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts. ICE will now await the outcome of his case before a federal immigration judge to determine future actions.”
21's attorney Dina LaPolt told TMZ this is a misunderstanding. "We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with authorities to clear up any misunderstanding," the statement reads. "Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in the country--especially in Atlanta, Georgia and is actively working in the community leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy."
While this seems to come out of left field, 21, who reps East Atlanta, has ties to the West Indian island of Dominica. The island was formerly under British rule up until November 1978, but residents are still able to claim citizenship from Britain.
XXL has reached out to 21's team for comment.
See Behind-the-Scenes Photos of 21 Savage at 2016 XXL Freshman Class Cover Shoot