21 Savage has been released on bond pending a deportation hearing, reports TMZ. His attorneys say that the rapper was granted an expedited hearing. Savage’s lawyers, Charles H. Kuck, Dina LaPolt and Alex Spiro, left a statement with the news outlet.
“21 Savage asked us to send a special message to his fans and supporters — he says that while he wasn’t present at the Grammy Awards, he was there in spirit and is grateful for the support from around the world and is more than ever, ready to be with his loved ones and continue making music that brings people together.”
“He will not forget this ordeal or any of the other fathers, sons, family members, and faceless people, he was locked up with or that remain unjustly incarcerated across the country. And he asks for your hearts and minds to be with them.”
Savage (real name Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph) was taken into custody by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after being pulled over in a vehicle with rapper Young Nudy, who was taken in on unrelated charges. ICE accused Savage of being a British national living illegally in the U.S. since his visa expired in July 2006. Savage was previously believed to be a native of Atlanta, Georgia.
A birth certificate later surfaced showing that Savage’s birthplace was Newham, London. His attorneys stated that the rapper had never tried to conceal his background. Savage was born in the United Kingdom but legally came to the United States when he was 7. He left for a month in 2005, then returned with a visa which expired in 2006. The attorneys also noted that the Department of Homeland Security was aware of his visa application in 2017.
“ICE has not charged Mr. Abraham-Joseph with any crime,” said Kuck in a February 4 statement. “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.”
A day after 21 Savage’s arrest, his legal team insisted that the rapper never intentionally concealed his status as an immigrant and called his detainment a “civil law violation,” according to New York Daily News. After his release on bail, the artist faces a deportation hearing.
A social media campaign titled “21 Ways You Could Be Detained If You’re Undocumented in America” has surfaced with celebs voicing their support of Savage.
In a new video for Mic.com, artists like Kendrick Lamar, SZA, DJ Khaled, and J. Cole speak up in defense of 21 Savage and other undocumented people facing deportation in America.
Following the release of 21 Savage, fans are demanding that Young Nudy be granted the same treatment.