21 Savage’s Attorney Wants Everyone to Convince ICE that Detaining Him is a Bad IdeaJavonni Brustow
Photo Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
It’s been a week since rapper 21 Savage was detained by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) for overstaying his visa since 2005 when he was 12. The attorneys Jay-Z obtained for him are currently fighting him being detained tooth and nail as well Cardi B, Offset and Meek Mill have are supporting a petition with over 400,000 signatures to keep him from being deported.
So far his attorneys are objecting to claims that he was detained due to a loaded gun in the glove compartment of the car he was in, but strictly immigration related issues. They’ve also stated that neither the gun or the car was his.
“ICE has confirmed he was targeted for immigration enforcement and nothing more,” 21 Savage’s attorney Alex Spiro told the Press Association. “He was never arrested by the police, and some other individual’s firearm and vehicle is not our concern here.”
And in case there was any confusion about the statement, Brian Steel who’s also on his legal team doubled down on Alex’ remarks saying “That was not his car and the gun retrieved is not his. No one will be falsely accusing my client. 21 Savage has done absolutely nothing wrong.”
As for the reason 21 Savage, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph’s visa expired in 2006 when he was still a minor, it was “through no fault of his own” his attorneys claim.
His immigration attorney, Charles Kuck did an interview with Joy Reid recently describing the ordeal. He said ATF agents and police were involved in his arrest that occured after leaving an Atlanta nightclub when they all swarmed around the car he was in. The warrant that was held was for the guy driving the car. No police warrant existed for 21, but he was stopped by an ATF agent. They thought he had a conviction for aggravated felony, which he doesnt. It was vacated last year. He says they don’t understand what they were starting when they arrested him, as Joy Reid said a celebrity face has been placed on this issue of immigration. The only reason ICE can detain a person, according to Kuck, is if they are a flight risk or danger to the community. ICE headquarters not only determined that they would not release him, but they made the decision back in August when they first started looking at him to not let him go. He quoted a statistic from Black Alliance for Just Immigration which stated that in terms of black immigrants, 5.4% were unauthorized immigrants but made up over 10% of those removed in 2015. When asked if he were eligible for DACA since he came here as a minor, Kuck said if DACA came back today, he would be eligible for it. Unfortunately, he didn’t finish school or get his GED in time to qualify for DACA in the past. He also says “We need everybody behind us to convince ICE it’s not a good idea to detain him.”
The 26 year old rapper is worth an estimated $12 million and questions about what’s going to happen to his millions have come up. TMZ reports that the only way ICE can seize assets is if any of it was obtained by illegal means. In his case he has his burgeoning career to thanks for his fortune.
Also in support of 21 Savage is Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson who did an interview with NPR’s Michel Martin discussing why he’s advocating for his release. During the interview he said ” First of all, that Shayaa is a young black male. We are disproportionately impacted by deportation proceedings, so there’s a racist ICE agenda out there that is being perpetrated. Whether or not it’s because he is black, whether or not it’s because he has a cross on his forehead – tattoo or whether or not it could be due to the record that he released a couple of weeks ago that talks about how ICE mistreats children on the southern border – whatever the reason it is, it’s bad for Shayaa. And we’re going to make sure that we do everything we can to get him the help that he needs to face this persecution that he’s undergoing by ICE.”
The rapper was scheduled to perform at the Grammy Awards which are taking place tonight, where he’s nominated for two awards including record of the year. Sadly, he won’t be making it and his manager has even said that they won’t release tickets for Savage’s mother to attend. Updates will be reported on as it comes.