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Rapper 21 Savage, who was arrested this weekend and detained by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), has confirmed that he was - as ICE suggested - born in the United Kingdom.
An earlier ICE statement had said that 21 Savage - actually named She'yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph - was 'unlawfully present in the US' and a 'United Kingdom national'.
In a statement of his own, Abraham-Joseph has now confirmed that he is from the UK, but claims that the ICE statement contains 'incorrect information'.
Speaking via his representatives, Savage stated that he arrived in the USA when he was seven years old, but 'through no fault of his own' his legal status to remain in the USA expired in 2006. He also claims he didn't realise this until 2017, when he applied for a new one.
21 Savage's visa ran out some years ago. Credit: PA
The 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."
21 Savage in concert. Credit: PA
The statement continues: "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."
However, the original ICE statement said: "Initially entered the U.S. legally in July 2005, but subsequently failed to depart under the terms of his non-immigrant visa and he became unlawfully present in the U.S. when his visa expired in July 2006. In addition to being in violation of federal immigration law, [21 Savage] was convicted on felony drug charges in October 2014 in Fulton County, Georgia."
Abraham-Joseph denies claims that he has criminal convictions. Credit: PA
21 Savage issued a counter statement in which his team denied that he had any criminal charges or convictions. It claims that the ICE information is 'incorrect'.
Meanwhile, Congressman Hank Johnson revealed a letter he sent to the immigration judge speaking of Abraham-Joseph's community spirit. It said: "He spends his time giving back to the community and supporting and promoting the betterment of our youth.
"He has been an outstanding figure and influence within his family and within Atlanta."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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