21 Savage confirms he was born in the UK as ICE immigration case continues

Rapper's lawyers have clarified his immigration status and lambasted ICE for sharing incorrect information that claimed he had criminal convictions

Rapper 21 Savage arrested in US due to being UK citizen

21 Savage has confirmed he was born in the UK after being arrested in Atlanta by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for being "unlawfully present in the US".

The rapper, whose real name is She'yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, stated via representatives that he was born in Newham, London, and emigrated to the US when he was 7 years old. In 2005 he departed to vist the UK, and returned later that month.

21 claims his legal status expired in 2006 "through no fault of his own", and that he applied for a visa in 2017 after learning that he required one.

"Mr Abraham-Joseph has three US citizen children, a lawful permanent resident mother and four siblings that are either US citizens or lawful permanent residents," the statement continued. "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 seek Cancellation of Removal from an immigration judge."

The statement continued: "Mr Abraham-Joseph was placed into deportation proceedings AFTER his arrest, he was not in deportation proceedings prior to this detention by ICE. DHS has known his address since the filing of a US 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... we are unaware of why ICE apparently targeted MR Abraham-Jospeh, but we will do everything possible to legally seek his release and pursue his available relief in immigration court."

At the time of the arrest, ICE claimed in a statement that 21 Savage “initially entered the US legally in July 2005, but subsequently failed to depart under the terms of his nonimmigrant visa and he became unlawfully present in the US when his visa expired in July 2006.

"In addition to being in violation of federal immigration law, [21 Savage] was convicted on felony drug charges in October 2014 in Fulton County, Georgia," it said.

However, a new statement from 21’s representatives reads: “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.”

21 has received support from a number of fellow artists, along with Georgia congressman Hank Johnson, who shared a letter he sent to the immigration judge overseeing the rapper's case over the weekend.

"He spends his time giving back to the community and supporting and promoting the betterment of our youth," Johnson wrote. "He has been an outstanding figure and influence within his family and within Atlanta."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in