Jay Z Hires Lawyer To Help 21 Savage In Immigration Legal Battle

21 Savage is currently being detained by ICE for an expired visa.

Jay-Z attends the 'The Great Gatsby' world premiere at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on May 1, 2013 in New York City/ 21 Savage attends Men's Runway Show at Park Avenue Armory on February 6, 2018 in New York City.
Stephen Lovekin / Roy Rochlin / Getty Images

21 Savage is currently being detained by ICE for an expired visa.

Jay Z is helping rapper 21 Savage in his immigration legal battle, BBC is reporting. 21 Savage — whose real name is Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph — moved to the United States as a child from the United Kingdom. He is now being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) due to an expired visa. According to Abraham-Joseph and his lawyers, the rapper came to the U.S. in 1999 at the age of 7. ICE believes Abraham-Joseph actually came to America in 2005 at the age of 12 and ended up overstaying his visa.

Abraham-Joseph’s lawyers admit that the rapper does indeed lack the proper documentation, but that his visa expired while he was a child due to “no fault of his own.” Jay Z and his company, Roc Nation, argue that anyone charged with “visa overstay” should be released and free while they are fighting their case. Jay Z made posts both on Twitter and Facebook last night where he pointed out that Abraham-Joseph had three children — all American citizens — and that his U visa petition has been pending for four years. The U visa he applied for is given to victims of crime, and his lawyers say he was a victim of a shooting in 2013. He reapplied for the visa in 2017, which may have alerted ICE and led them to do a background check on him.

While Abraham-Joseph has his lawyers and support from various other artists such as Cardi B, Meek Mill, and Offset, Jay Z has gone above and beyond by taking action. The mogul has hired successful New York immigration lawyer Alex Spiro to aid in Abraham-Joseph’s case. Spiro is already fully on board, telling reporters that they will “not stop” until Abraham-Joseph is freed. He also denied ICE’s claims that the rapper had a criminal record. While he was charged with drug offenses in 2014, they had been removed from his record.

“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,” Spiro told TMZ.

Abraham-Joseph was arrested early February 3 in Atlanta. The rapper theorizes that ICE targeted him specifically as he had just released a song condemning actions of immigration officials.

21 Savage is nominated for two Grammy Awards on February 10, but it is doubtful he will be able to attend the show.