There are updates regarding 21 Savage's arrest after ICE officials picked him up for allegedly being in the U.S. illegally. Get those deets, plus how his celeb friends are coming to his defense inside...
Rapper 21 Savage is behind bars after he was arrested in Atlanta by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on Super Bowl Sunday. They claim 21 Savage - real name Shayaabin Abraham-Joseph - is in the United States illegally and he could face deportation. It's reported his arrest was a “targeted operation."
21 came to the United States (Atlanta to be exact) with his mother at the age of 12 on a visa in July 2005. The visa expired a year later and he has been living here in the U.S. illegally since then. He is currently being held in federal immigration custody and could be deported at a hearing before a judge.
ICE claims the 26-year-old rapper is a citizen of the United Kingdom. And his alleged birth certificate just popped up on these Internet streets. According to the document (obtained by the Daily Mail), 21 was born on October 22, 1992, at Newham Hospital, in east London. His parents, Heather Joseph and Kevin Emmons, are also British.
The site reports:
“The musician also has twin sisters in the capital, dance choreographers Kyra and Jayda, who have called his arrest 'fishy' but deleted childhood photos of the star growing up in the UK with one tweeting, 'I don't want him to get deported.' Jayda took to her Twitter page to comment on the news, stating that she thinks he should be able to stay in America regardless of where he's from originally.
Peep the tweets below:
But Shaayaa moved to America when he was mad young, so he basically is American, he grew up there
— Claire Voyance (@Jayda_Davis) February 3, 2019
I'm bare confused as to how they're trying to deport him though... He's been comfortable this whole time, even when he was gangbanging and shit. This smells fishy
— Claire Voyance (@Jayda_Davis) February 3, 2019
As for his arrest, 21's lawyers are PISSED because they claim ICE knew about his status since 2017 when he filed for a U-Visa.
21's lawyer says ICE blew it by basing the arrest, in part, on the rapper's previous felony. As we reported, 21 pled guilty to felony drug charges in 2014, but the record was expunged last year. ICE does not have to honor an expungement ... the arrest and conviction can trigger deportation action.
Ironically, 21 Savage's move to become a legal resident may have caused the arrest, because USCIS investigates the application and does a background check, which apparently revealed he was born in the UK, came to the U.S. legally in 2005 with a visa, but it expired the next year and he has been here illegally ever since.
As for why Savage decided to ask for a U-Visa in 2017 ... there's a form of relief available for people who have been in the U.S. illegally for 10 years or longer, who have a qualifying U.S. relative living here. In Savage's case, he has 3 kids who were born here. Problem is ... ICE apparently believes the felony conviction knocks him out of the box.
Another reason he may have wanted the visa ... it would allow him to leave the country to tour.
21's lawyers are working relentlessly to get him out of jail. They claim keeping him behind bars is a "civil law violation." They say since the Grammy nominated rapper came to the U.S. as a minor he 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 purpose than to unnecessarily punish him and try to intimidate him into giving up his right to fight to remain in the United States,” attorney Charles Kuck said in a statement. “Obviously, our client is not a flight risk, as he is widely recognizable, and a prominent member of the music industry. Likewise, Mr. Abraham-Joseph is clearly not a danger to the community, and in fact, his contributions to local communities and schools that he grew up in are examples of the type of immigrant we want in America.”
Kuck says his client has NEVER hidden his immigration status from the U.S. government, hence why he applied for a U-Visa in 2017. The application is currently pending and ICE has known about it, yet took no action until this weekend.
“Obviously, our client is not a flight risk, as he is widely recognizable, and a prominent member of the music industry," Kuck continued. "Likewise, Mr. Abraham-Joseph’s is clearly not a danger to the community, and in fact, his contributions to local communities and schools that he grew up in are examples of the type of immigrant we want in America.”
“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.”
The "A Lot" rapper's attorneys are also upset ICE brought up his prior criminal charges since they were expunged last year.
The attorney also takes aim at ICE for putting it out there that 21 Savage has prior criminal charges, suggesting he does not. Point of fact -- Savage pled guilty to felony drug possession back in 2014, but that conviction was expunged last September.
Now, this is interesting ... Kuck says the Visa 21 Savage applied for is based on him being a victim of crime. Kuck tells TMZ, 21 Savage was shot during a 2013 incident where his best friend was murdered. Kuck says he was "severely affected physically and mentally." He goes on to say being a crime victim puts 21 Savage in a position for permanent residence.
His attorneys feel like ICE is trying to "unnecessarily punish him," claiming the agency is trying "to intimidate him into giving up his right to fight to remain in the United States."
Several of 21's celeb friends have come to his defense. Singer Demi Lovato came under fire after she tweeted, "The 21 Savage memes have been my favorite part of the Super Bowl."
Wale responded, "Why is somebody freedom funny ... I don’t get the joke"
Why is somebody freedom funny ... I don’t get the joke https://t.co/Eyf4clympS
— Wale (@Wale) February 4, 2019
Then he tweeted, " "A lot of people were sending you love light , prayers etc . When people were making jokes about u at a rough time. A lot of people. Bless up."
A lot of people were sending you love light , prayers etc . When people were making jokes about u at a rough time. A lot of people .Bless up https://t.co/9sxe1rJuA2
— Wale (@Wale) February 4, 2019
In TSR's comments section, Demi Lovato responded, "Wale just salty I never responded to his desperate tweets years ago."
Then, Wale politely clapped back, "Still ain't gon disrespect you... Still praying for you Demi," he responded, referencing her 2018 overdose on Oxycodone and fentanyl. "Hopefully you seen the ones providing comfort and prayer when you were down. I don't kick people when they down. Go queen."
We're here for the classy shade.
Offset defended 21 Savage in a tweet, writing, "ALL THE MEMES AND SHIT AINT FUNNY WHEN SOMEBODY GOING THROUGH SOME PRAYING FOR MY DAWG AINT SHIT FUNNY HIS FANILY DEPENDING ON HIM"
ALL THE MEMES AND SHIT AINT FUNNY WHEN SOMEBODY GOING THROUGH SOME
PRAYING FOR MY DAWG
AINT SHIT FUNNY HIS FANILY
DEPENDING ON HIM
— OFFSET (@OffsetYRN) February 4, 2019
Rapper Boosie also went IN on Demi Lovato:
By the way, Demi Lovato has deactivated her Twitter following the backlash. Oop!
Bigot Barbie Tomi Lahren joined in on clowning 21 where Cardi B responded:
Don’t make me get my leash https://t.co/ErQ2RhzDeg
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) February 4, 2019
Cardi's nemesis Nicki Minaj also popped off on Tomi:
Your obsession w/our culture is scary to say the least. I hate giving you the attention you so desperately crave. Laughing @ ppl getting deported as if your ancestors discovered America. Are you Native American? You fkn clown. https://t.co/7m0fYnubkq
— QUEEN (@NICKIMINAJ) February 4, 2019
Also, a video of 21's mother has resurfaced where she talks in her British accent:
If he is deported, the artist could face a 10-year ban on returning to the United States.