Attorneys representing Grammy-nominated rapper 21 Savage, who was taken into custody by ICE officials over the weekend, said on Monday that he was arrested and detained based on inaccurate information about his criminal background and that he should be released while awaiting court proceedings.
The hip-hop star, whose legal name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested in Atlanta on Sunday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. They claim that he had overstayed his visa. Officials said Abraham-Joseph, who is being held at a detention center in Georgia, came to the United States from Britain in 2005. He now faces deportation.
“ICE has not charged Mr. Abraham-Joseph with any crime. 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,” the rapper’s attorney, Charles Kuck, said in a written statement, according to Reuters.
“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."
Kuck also said that ICE refused to release his client on bond based on “incorrect information about prior criminal charges.” The attorney did not elaborate on the information he believed was wrong, Reuters reports.