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21 Savage’s Lawyer Calls Rapper’s Arrest a ‘Civil Law Violation’

“The continued detention of Mr. Abraham-Joseph serves no other purpose than to unnecessarily punish him,” says rapper’s immigration lawyer

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21 Savage's immigration lawyer calls the rapper's arrest and detention a "civil law violation."

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Following the arrest and detention of 21 Savage (real name She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph), the rapper’s legal team has released a statement about his current situation. 

According to Charles H. Kuck, Abraham-Joseph’s immigration lawyer of the firm Kuck & Baxter, ICE refuses to release the rapper “on bond of any amount.” It’s unclear how long the rapper will remain in detention or if the process will lead to deportation. Black Lives Matter filed a petition protesting any further action by ICE earlier on Monday.

Kuck’s statement goes on to criticize the acts of ICE in stark terms, claiming that the agency’s actions were “based upon incorrect information about prior criminal charges.” According to the statement, Abraham-Joseph “has never hidden his immigration status from the US government” and applied for a new visa two years ago. The Department of Homeland Security “has known his address and his history since his filing for the U Visa in 2017.” It is unclear why ICE decided to act on Sunday.

The statement continues to advocate for Abraham-Joseph’s removal from ICE detention, claiming, “Our client is not a flight risk, as he is widely recognizable, and a prominent member of the music industry. Likewise, Mr. Abraham-Joseph’s 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” — all of which would run counter to the need to keep him in custody. 

“This is a civil law violation,” — not criminal — “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,” the statement argues. 

A spokesperson for ICE did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Statement on behalf of 21 Savage via Charles H. Kuck, Esq. of Kuck & Baxter:

ICE detained She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, the well-known Atlanta based recording artist and songwriter also known as “21 Savage”.  Based upon incorrect information about prior criminal charges and now refusing to release him on bond of any amount, despite the fact that he has a pending U-Visa application (as the victim of crime) with USCIS, and that he has relief from removal available to him. Mr. Abraham-Joseph has never hidden 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.   ICE can only continue to detain individuals who are a threat the community or a flight risk to not show up at their hearings. 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’s 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. 

ICE has not charged Mr. Abraham-Joseph with any crime.  As a minor, his family overstayed their work visas, and he, like almost two million other children, 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.  He rose above the difficult circumstances of his youth to achieve success and make contributions to our society that rival any of those by a natural born citizen.  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.  

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