A lawyer for rapper 21 Savage said the star, who's facing deportation after it was revealed he is actually a U.K. citizen, remained in the U.S. illegally “through no fault of his own.”
On Sunday, the 26-year-old rapper, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested by ICE in what they called a "targeted operation" for allegedly staying in the U.S. after his visa expired in 2006. He was reportedly 12 when he came to the U.S. in 2005.
“ICE has not charged Mr. Abraham-Joseph with any crime. As a minor, his family overstayed their work visas, and he, like almost 2 million other children, was left without legal status through no fault of his own,” the rapper’s immigration attorney, Charles Kuck, told Reuters.
Kuck also alleges that ICE is refusing to release the rapper based on “incorrect information about his criminal charges.”
“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,” Kuck said.
Kuck also said the rapper applied for a U visa, a visa for victims of certain crimes, in 2017 and the application is still under review.
The Grammy-nominated rapper had previously said he was from Decatur, Georgia. He has three children who are all U.S. citizens.
The rapper is known for giving back to his community and has hosted a handful of initiatives around the Atlanta area. Most recently, he held his third annual “Issa Back 2 School Drive,” which provides uniforms and school supplies to children in Dekalb County.