According to the BBC, attorney Charles Kuck is confident his client never hid his immigration status. In a statement, Kuck claims the platinum artist’s arrest was “based upon incorrect information about prior criminal charges.” In 2014, 21 Savage who’s government is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph was convicted of drug-related charges, although that conviction was later expunged from his record.
21’s attorney says his client was in the process of receiving U visas so he could legally reside in the United States. U visas are granted to non-citizen victims of crime who intend to cooperate with U.S. authorities, and he was a candidate after 2013 when 21 Savage was shot six times on his 21st birthday by a rival gang member in an attempted robbery. The ambush took the life of his little brother, Johnny “Tay-Man” Abraham-Joseph.
ICE has yet to charge the rapper with any crime and his lawyer believes he is a victim of his parents deciding to overstay their work visas.
“ICE has not charged Mr. Abraham-Joseph with any crime,” the statement reads. “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 purposes other than to unnecessarily punish him and try to intimidate him into giving up his fight to fight to remain in the United States.”
“As a minor, his family overstayed their work visas, and he, like almost two million other children, was left without legal status through no faults of their own.”
— Ade Onibada (@SincerelyAde) February 4, 2019
Kuch 21’s lawyer says that the artist was a staple of the community and his legal team are committed to securing his release so he can move on with his life.
“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,” Kuck adds. “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.”