Lawyers for 21 Savage slammed ICE for its treatment of the rapper, saying the agency “provided incorrect information” to the public about his criminal record and is detaining him “for no legal reason.”
“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,” his six-person legal counsel said in a statement released late Tuesday.
“There continues to be no legal reason to detain Mr. Abraham-Joseph for a civil law violation that occurred when he was a minor, especially when people in his exact situation are routinely released by ICE,” it continued.
21 Savage’s real name is She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph.
The Atlanta-based rapper was arrested Sunday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after it emerged he was actually from the UK and was staying in the country with an expired visa, the depart ment said. His lawyers continue to argue that the government knew of his immigration status.
“He has never hidden from DHS or any of its agencies,” they said.
They also provided background on his history. 21 Savage arrived legally in the United States at the age of 7 and remained here until 2005, when he was a teenager, according to his lawyers.
“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’s legal status expired through no fault of his own.”
The rapper allegedly has a pending U-Visa application, eligible for people who have been the victim of a crime. He applied in 2017.
His lawyer’s touched on speculation of “possible ulterior motives” for 21 Savage’s arrest, noting new lyrics he released “condemning the behavior of immigration officials for their detention of children at the border.”
In his appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” days before his arrest, he performed his new song “A Lot” with an added line.
“Been through some things, but I couldn’t imagine my kids stuck at the border (Straight up),” he rapped.
“We are unaware of why ICE apparently targeted Mr. Abraham-Joseph, but we will do everything possible to legally seek his release and pursue his available relief in immigration court,” the letter concluded.
ICE did not immediately respond to the Daily News for comment.