Lawyers: Rapper 21 Savage released from federal immigration custody
Grammy-nominated rapper 21 Savage was released on bond in Atlanta Tuesday after spending more than a week in federal immigration custody, his lawyers said. The rapper, whose given name is She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested during a targeted immigration operation early on Feb. 3. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said at the time that the British citizen had overstayed his visa and had a felony conviction.
In a statement, lawyers Charles Kuck, Dina LaPolt, and Alex Spiro said they've been speaking with ICE to ‘‘clarify his actual legal standing, his eligibility for bond, and provide evidence of his extraordinary contributions to his community and society.’’
Abraham-Joseph was nominated for two Grammys, including record of the year for ‘‘Rockstar’’ alongside Post Malone. His second solo album, ‘‘I Am I Was,’’ debuted in December at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
After his arrest, ICE said Abraham-Joseph entered the US legally in 2005, when he was 12, but has remained in the country illegally since his visa expired in July 2006. He was convicted on felony drug charges in October 2014 in Fulton County, Ga., ICE said. He was placed in deportation proceedings in federal immigration court.
Abraham-Joseph’s lawyers disputed that. They said last week that Abraham-Joseph came to the US when he was 7 and remained in the country until June 2005, when he went to visit the United Kingdom for a month. He returned on a valid visa on July 22, 2005, they said.
The attorneys also said ICE was incorrect that Abraham-Joseph has a felony conviction on his record.