Jay Z and Roc Nation are stepping in to help 21 Savage after his recent arrest. And they've hired a high-powered attorney to get him free. Deets inside...
Days after his arrest, Jay Z and Roc Nation are lending a helping hand to rapper 21 Savage after he was arrested and detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in Atlanta over the weekend. ICE claims the 26-year-old rapper overstayed his visa and that he is a convicted felon. While all of those things are true, there is talk that his record was reportedly expunged last year, and his U Visa petition to address his overstayed Visa is still pending. So, should he still be facing deportation?
That's the debate.
Several celebs have spoken out in his defense - including Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Offset, Wale, and more. Georgia congressman Hank Johnson even released a letter he sent to the immigration judge overseeing 21 Savage’s case.
Now, Jay Z is stepping in, but he's doing more than posting up social media posts. He's putting big bucks behind his defense in an effort to get the father-of-three released.
Jay Z, along with Roc Nation, has hired high-powered attorney Alex Spiro to assist in getting 21 Savage - real name Shayaabin Abraham-Joseph - out of custody.
Hov released a statement in support of 21, calling his arrest "an absolute travesty."
"The arrest and detention of 21 Savage is an absolute travesty, his U visa petition has been pending for 4 years. In addition to being a successful recording artist, 21 deserves to be reunited with his children immediately, #Free21Savage"
“We are not going to stop until he is released, bonded out or in front of a judge," Spiro told Variety. "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.”
By the way, Spiro worked on the Bobby Shmurda case a few years ago.
She'yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph (@21savage) is currently 26 years old, an engaged father of 3 children who were born in the U.S.
U.K. born Abraham-Joseph has been living in the U.S. since the age of 7. pic.twitter.com/FQQOABJ20V
— Roc Nation (@RocNation) February 6, 2019
21's representatives released a statement clarifying the rapper's immigration status since details about his arrest have been inconsistently reported. They confirm he was born in the United Kingdom (like the birth certificate that has been floating around confirmed). However, he came to the United States at the age of 7, not 12, as previously reported. They said he left the country and returned again in 2005. His visa expired in 2006 and he filed for a U-Visa in 2017, which is still pending.
"We are unaware of why ICE apparently targeted Mr. Abraham-Joseph, but we will do everything possible to legally seek his release and pursue his available relief in immigration court."
The full statement reads:
Mr. Abraham-Joseph has three U.S. Citizen children, a lawful permanent resident mother and four siblings that are either US Citizens or lawful permanent residents. 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.
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 U 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-Joseph, but we will do everything possible to legally seek his release and pursue his available relief in immigration court.
A source tells Variety that if 21 - who's up for two Grammys - isn't out by the time the Grammy Awards go on this Sunday, then "there will be an immigration-themed moment in his honor."
Now, it's just a waiting game.