Attorneys for 21 Savage told fans on Tuesday that the rapper was released on bond after being detained by ICE earlier this month.
“In the last 24 hours, in the wake of the Grammy Awards at which he was scheduled to attend and perform, we received notice that She’yaa was granted an expedited hearing. Today, 21 Savage was granted a release on bond. He won his freedom,” reads a Facebook post written by the rapper’s legal team, Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC.
The 26-year-old, whose legal name is She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was detained earlier this month after being accused of overstaying his visa. ICE reported that the rapper was actually from Britain and came to America with his family as a minor and that he was arrested as part of a “targeted operation.”
21 Savage legally entered the U.S. in 2005 and his visa expired in July 2006.
Abraham-Joseph’s lawyers confirmed that ICE’s claims that his family overstayed their work visas were true, but noted that 21 Savage was “left without legal status through no fault of his own.”
“This is a civil law violation, and 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,” said attorney Charles Kuck said in a statement. “Obviously, our 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.”
Despite the rapper being slated to perform at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, his absence went mostly unacknowledged. Swedish record producer Ludwig Göransson shouted him while accepting the Record of the Year award for Childish Gambino’s “This Is America.”
“We want to thank all of the rappers that are featured on this song,” he said. “21 Savage, you should be here tonight.”
Additionally, Post Malone wore a shirt bearing the words “21 Savage” under his jacket during his performance with the Red Hot Chili Peppers earlier in the night, though he did not say anything about the rapper while onstage.
Abraham-Joseph’s detainment has led to the hashtag #Free21Savage taking off, protests, and support from public figures like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Cardi B.
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