21 Savage's Legal Team Release Statement Clarifying His Residency Situation
21 Savage's lawyers argue that the rapper should be granted bond.
21 Savage's legal team have released a statement to clarify details about his immigration status and recent detainment by ICE.
It's acknowledged that the 26-year-old rapper—legal name She'yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph—was born in the United Kingdom and came to the U.S. legally at the age of 7. He allegedly remained in the states until June 2005, when he briefly went back to the U.K. for about a month. He returned to the U.S. in July 2005 with under a valid H-4 visa; however, his lawyers state he "lost his legal status through no fault of his own" in the following year.
21's legal team is now calling for the rapper to be granted bond, as they believe he is not considered a flight risk or a danger to the community. They also say ICE provided inaccurate information about 21's criminal history, and that he has no convictions or charges under state or federal law.
Shortly after he was arrested Sunday in Atlanta, ICE agents said the rapper had been convicted of felony drug charges in 2014. Attorney Jacoby Hudson disputed ICE's claims: "He's not a convicted felon, so they reported that wrong, from their 2014 arrest. That arrest should be expunged. He has no felony convictions."
Tuesday's letter goes on to emphasize 21's deep Georgia roots. Lawyers point out that the rapper has remained in the states for decades, has family members who are legal residences, and has given back to his community through his art various charitable efforts. Attorneys also suggest 21 may have been targeted over his 2018 track "A Lot," in which he criticizes the country's immigration policies on an extended version of the song: "Went through some things, but I couldn't imagine my kids stuck at the border/Flint still need water, niggas was innocent, couldn’t get lawyers," he raps.
You can read the full statement below.
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:
Editor's note: After the statement was released, representatives for 21 Savage shared a correction for stating that 21 "arrived legally in the United States at the age of 7 under an H-4 visa." The revised portion now reads: "Mr. Abraham-Joseph arrived legally in the United States at the age of 7."