Immigration agents have arrested rapper 21 Savage following reports that he has overstayed his visa as a child, but the rapper has since vowed to fight for his right to stay in the country, according to his lawyer.
The 26-year-old rapper whose real name is ShaYaaBin Abraham-Joseph was on Sunday remanded by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The agency confirms that 21 Savage is a British citizen.
In a statement by the 21 Savage’s lawyer, Mr. Charles Kuck, the attorney says that “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.”
“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.”
Mr. Kuck in the defence of his client stated that the 26-year-old has a pending application for a U visa, which is for victims of crimes who at one point or the other faced mental or physical abuse in the United States of America.
According to Mr. Kuck, 21 Savage has not at any point hidden his immigration status from the US immigration agencies. He said that “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.”
Bryan Cox, a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson affirmed that Mr. Abraham-Joseph entered the US legally in 2005, but his continuous stay after his visa expired in 2006 made him “unlawfully present in the US”.
Mr. Cox added in a statement that the rapper was in October 2014 convicted of felony drug charges. According to him, “Mr. Abraham-Joseph is presently in ICE custody in Georgia and has been placed into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts”.
Mr. Kuck has insisted that his client is not a threat to America, claiming that “he is not a flight risk, as he is widely recognizable, and a prominent member of the music industry.” He stated that 21 Savage supports his three children who are US citizens, a status that makes him eligible for deportation relief. He has filed for his client to be released on bond.
Since his arrest, the singer has received supports and strong backings from top artists in the industry. His arrest became trending on social media with the hashtag ‘#free21’.
Countless tweets went viral on the subject matter. One of the music group, Migos tweeted: “successful black man”.
Meek Mill, who was released from prison last year tweeted, “they always try some way to bring us down.” “Free 21”.
Meek Mill’s arrest for a parole violation sparked protest across the United States, calling out the US government to stop being bias over probation laws.
There has been calls for the abolishment of ICE for its aggressive enforcement of the zero tolerance immigration policies of President Trump.
The ICE guidelines has separated many children from their parents at the US-Mexico border in the last months since its implementation.