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- Rapper 21 Savage was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials on Sunday and faces deportation.
- ICE says 21 Savage – whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph – is a UK citizen who overstayed a visa that expired in 2006.
- Abraham-Joseph’s lawyers say that he applied for a visa to stay in the US permanently in 2013, but that the application fell by the wayside.
- Jay-Z expressed support for Abraham-Joseph in a Wednesday night Facebook post.
- TMZ and Complex reported that Jay-Z’s recording company, Roc Nation, also hired him a lawyer to fight deportation.
Jay-Z’s recording company has hired a lawyer for 21 Savage to help him fight deportation after his arrest by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) earlier this week.
Agency officials arrested 21 Savage, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, on Sunday. ICE spokesman Bryan Cox told INSIDER that the rapper is a UK citizen who overstayed a visa that expired in 2006.
The Atlanta, Georgia-based rapper was taken into custody, and is due to appear in federal immigration court, Cox said.
According to ICE, Abraham-Joseph came to the US legally in July 2005, but did not leave when his visa expired one year later.
Jay-Z also declared his support in a Facebook post on Wednesday night, calling Abraham-Joseph’s arrest and detention “an absolute travesty.”
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Jay-Z wrote on Facebook: “The arrest and detention of 21 Savage is an absolute travesty, his U visa petition has been pending for 4 years.”
Abraham-Joseph applied for a U visa – which grants permanent residence for victims of crime – after he survived a shooting in 2013.
The incident killed his best friend, and left him “severely affected physically and mentally,” according to a statement from his lawyer in Atlanta, which was published by TMZ on Monday.
Abraham-Joseph applied for a U visa in 2013, but that stalled after he was convicted in Georgia on felony drug charges in 2014, TMZ reported. He applied for a U visa again in 2017, the news site added.
Jay-Z also said on Wednesday: “In addition to being a successful recording artist, 21 deserves to be reunited with his children immediately.”
Abraham-Joseph has three children, all of whom are US citizens.
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Alex Spiro, the New York-based attorney that Roc Nation hired, told TMZ: “What we have here is someone who overstayed their visa with an application [for the U visa] pending for four years – not a convicted criminal that needs to be detained and removed but, by all accounts a wonderful person, father, and entertainer who has a marijuana offense which was vacated and sealed.”
Spiro also told Complex that Abraham-Joseph’s case “is very important to Mr. Carter and Roc Nation,” referring to Jay-Z by his real name, Shawn Carter.
“Our sole focus right now is getting him out” of detention,” Spiro told Complex. ICE could release Abraham-Joseph on bond and use electronic monitoring surveillance instead of incarcerating him, Spiro said.
Kuck, Abraham-Joseph’s lawyer in Atlanta, claimed to TMZ earlier this week that ICE was trying to “unnecessarily punish him,” and “to intimidate him into giving up his right to fight to remain in the United States.”