21 Savage‘s attorney Charles H. Kuck has released a statement, telling The Blast that he’s fighting to get his client released on bond because he’s neither “a threat [to] the community or a flight risk to not show up at their hearings.”
Kuck added that his client is “not a flight risk, as he is widely recognizable, and a prominent member of the music industry. Likewise, Mr. Abraham-Joseph 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 (born She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph) was arrested by ICE over the weekend after allegedly overstaying a 2005 visa. Despite being known as an Atlanta native, ICE alleges the rapper is actually a British citizen.
Kuck argues that his client isn’t actually in the U.S. unlawfully as he has an application pending for a U-Visa, which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services designates as “set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.” According to Kuck, the rapper “has never hid 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.”
Kuck explained that 21 Savage’s family overstayed their work visas when he was a minor and “like almost two million other children, was left without legal status through no fault of his own.” Kuck added, “Mr. Abraham-Joseph has US citizen children that he supports and is eligible for relief from deportation. We and he will fight for his release, for his family, and his right to remain in our country. No one would expect less from him.”
Kuck also argued that his client was arrested “based upon incorrect information about prior criminal charges” referring to a 2014 felony drug conviction that was ultimately expunged.
21 Savage is still in ICE custody and facing deportation to the United Kingdom on the grounds that he is “unlawfully present” in the U.S. Spin reached out to ICE for comment on Kuck’s statements and will update if we hear back.