Jay Z is more than just talking about criminal justice reform. He’s literally putting his money where his mouth is. Although the rapper 21 Savage is not on his label, Jay has hired noted lawyer Alex Spiro to assist in getting Savage, born She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, out of ICE custody, reports Variety.
Savage, 26 was detained by ICE after performing at a Super Bowl LIII event last Thursday. Fans were stunned to find out that the Atlanta-based rap star was a British national. As he’s up for two Grammys this weekend if he is not out of ICE custody by then, there are indications that some artists will make a statement of support from the Grammy stage.
“We are not going to stop until he is released, bonded out or in front of a judge, Spiro told Variety. “What we have here is someone who overstayed their Visa with an application pending for 4 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.”
Savage’s camp issued a statement to correct what they said were multiple inaccuracies reported about his case. The statement says, in full below:
There has been a great deal of misreporting in the case of She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, known professionally as 21 Savage. Conjecture and misinformation help no one make good decisions and lead to false conclusions. Here are the facts:
Mr. Abraham-Joseph was born in the United Kingdom. Mr. Abraham-Joseph arrived legally in the United States at the age of 7 under an H-4 visa.
He remained in the United States until June 2005, when he departed for approximately one month to visit the United Kingdom. He returned to the United States under a valid H-4 visa on July 22, 2005. Mr. Abraham-Joseph has been continuously present in the United States for almost 20 years, except for a brief visit abroad. Unfortunately, Mr. Abraham-Joseph lost his legal status through no fault of his own.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph, like almost 2 million of his immigrant child peers, was left without immigration status as a young child with no way to fix his immigration status. These ‘Dreamers’ come from all walks life and every ethnicity.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph has no criminal convictions or charges under state or federal law and is free to seek relief from removal in immigration court. ICE provided incorrect information to the press when it claimed he had a criminal conviction.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph has three U.S. citizen children, a lawful permanent mother and four siblings that are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. He has exceptionally strong ties in the United States, having lived here since he was in the first grade. Because of his length of residence in the United States and his immediate relatives, Mr. Abraham-Joseph is eligible to see cancelation of removal from an immigration judge.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph was placed into deportation proceedings AFTER his arrest, he was not in deportation proceedings prior to this detention by ICE. (The Department of Homeland Security) has known his address since the filing of a U visa application in 2017. He has never hidden from DHS or any of its agencies.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph is not subject to mandatory detention under federal law and is eligible for bond. By statute, bond should be granted by ICE when there is no flight risk or a danger to the community. ICE has the ability to set a bond and conditions of release on cases exactly like this. ICE routinely grants bond to individuals in Mr. Abraham-Joseph’s circumstances, specifically individuals who have overstayed a prior valid visa and have relief from deportation under federal law.
There is no chance that Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a flight risk. Mr. Abraham-Joseph is not a ‘danger’ to the community as his acts of philanthropy and goodwill, as well as his music, continue to improve the communities from which he comes.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph has a pending U visa application with (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). This U visa was filed as a result of being the victim of a deadly shooting in 2013. That visa was filed in 2017 and remains pending. When granted, the U visa will afford him lawful status in the United States. Generally, ICE has recognized a pending facially valid U visa as a basis to delay removal proceedings and release individuals from custody.
There continues to be no legal reason to detain Mr. Abraham-Joseph for a civil law violation that occurred when he was a minor, especially when people in his exact situation are routinely released by ICE.
Many have speculated as to possible ulterior motives for his arrest and detention, including that he released music five days prior to his arrest by ICE, which included new lyrics condemning the behavior of immigration officials for their detention of children at the border.
We are unaware of why ICE apparently targeted Mr. Abraham-Joseph but we will do everything possible to legally seek his release and pursue his available relief in immigration court.”
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