A Georgia lawmaker is urging federal officials to release rapper 21 Savage from the custody of U.S. immigration agents.
21 Savage was born in the London borough of Newham to British parents, according to CNN, who obtained a copy of the rapper’s birth certificate. The document lists his parents’ home as East Ham.
Lawyers for 21 Savage say the 26-year-old rapper has lived in the U.S. since age seven, and the federal immigration authorities who are detaining him are incorrect that he has a felony conviction on his record.
Fulton county prosecutors say records are sealed and they can’t comment on that case.
WATCH BELOW: ICE arrests Grammy-nominated rapper, 21 Savage, says is in U.S. illegally
The Bank Account rapper was taken into federal immigration custody in the Atlanta area early Sunday. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official says the rapper is a British citizen who overstayed his visa and who also has a felony conviction.
Kuck Baxter Immigration, the law firm representing the rapper whose real name is She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, issued the new statement Tuesday.
When announcing 21 Savage’s arrest, ICE had said the rapper had come to the U.S. at age 12 in 2005. But his lawyers say that was a return to the U.S. after a brief return visit to his birthplace in England.
Both sides agree 21 Savage’s legal status ended in 2006.
His lawyers say he has applied for a new visa and should be freed.
In a letter to ICE, Rep. Hank Johnson described 21 Savage as a “remarkable young man … (who) spends his time giving back to the community.”
“I believe that it would be a serious hardship to She’yaa’s family and a loss for our community if he is not allowed bail so that he can be released from prison,” he said.
Claims that She’yaa was hiding or their claims that he was detained because of prior convictions simply aren’t true. She’yaa was never convicted & he was openly seeking to renew his visa. Here's my letter to ICE. #Free21Savage https://t.co/dDIlPbWYGy @OsopePatrisse
— Rep. Hank Johnson (@RepHankJohnson) February 5, 2019
The rapper has several relatives in the United States, including his three children who are all U.S. citizens, and his mother and four siblings, who are either lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens, his lawyer said.
—With files from the Associated Press
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