The music mogul released a statement calling the arrest and detention of 21 Savage ‘an absolute travesty’ on Wednesday after it was revealed that the father-of-three’s U Visa petition has been pending for four years.
Whose legal name is Sha’Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, isn’t signed by Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s record label responded to his arrest on Sunday morning in Atlanta by hiring attorney Alex Spiro on the case.
‘What we have here is someone who overstayed their Visa with an application pending for four 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.
‘ Abraham-Joseph’s legal team on Tuesday admitted that he was born in the United Kingdom and had moved to the United States when he was seven years old on an H-4 visa.
The statement characterized Abraham-Joseph as a ‘Dreamer’ who has been the victim of a ‘great deal of misreporting’ that’s led to ‘false conclusions’.
‘Mr. Abraham-Joseph has been continuously physically present in the United States for almost 20 years, except for a brief visit abroad,’ the statement said, referring to how he was deported for one month in 2005 at age 12 but returned on the H-4 visa.
‘Unfortunately, in 2006 Mr. Abraham-Joseph lost his legal status through no fault of his own.
‘Mr. Abraham-Joseph, like almost two million of his immigrant child peers, was left without immigration status as a young child with no way to fix his immigration status.
‘ Savage’s team said that he plans ‘seek relief from removal in immigration court’ through the Cancellation of Removal from an Immigration Judge, stating that he has very permanent ties to the country.
‘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 release said.
Savage’s team stated that the rapper was placed in deportation proceedings ‘AFTER’ his arrest and that he wasn’t on the run from DHS as he had been working towards obtaining a U Visa since 2017.
Generally, ICE has recognized a pending facially valid U visa as a basis to delay removal proceedings and release individuals from custody.
ICE has said that Savage is a British citizen who came to the United States from the United Kingdom in 2005, when he was 12, and is ‘unlawfully present’ in the US after illegally overstaying his visa.
Abraham-Joseph is being held in federal custody pending removal proceedings.
His manager, who goes by the name Stone Mound Meezy, said in a tweet on Tuesday that he had spoken with Abraham-Joseph in a phone call.
‘Everything I’ve told him that has been happening made him happy and makes this time fly by thanking y’all for the support,’ the manager added, alluding to high-profile efforts and petitions to secure Abraham-Joseph’s release.