Hip hop MC 21 Savage, at the center of an immigration dispute at a time when the White House is going tough on immigration, has been released from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention, various news organizations are reporting.
His lawyers, Charles Kuck, Dina LaPolt and Alex Spiro told TMZ in a statement that the “Bank Account” rapper, whose case drew the support of Black Lives Matter and icons in the music industry, is in a good place.
“21 Savage asked us to send a special message to his fans and supporters – he says that while he wasn’t present at the Grammy Awards (on Sunday), he was there in spirit and is grateful for the support from around the world and is more than ever ready to be with his loved ones and continue making music that brings people together.”
The statement continued, “He will not forget this ordeal or any of the fathers, sons, family members and faceless people he was locked up with or that remain unjustly incarcerated across the country. And he asks for your hearts and minds to be with them.”
Officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Savage, 26, whose given name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, is a citizen of the United Kingdom and that he’d overstayed is visa.
The rapper was in custody in Georgia because he was convicted on felony drug charges in Fulton County, Ga., in 2014, Ice spokesman Bryan Cox told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The rapper’s case rallied support from Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar and Black Lives Matter, which launched a petition to halt any deportation.
He likely got placed on ICE’s radar after filing for a visa in 2017, TMZ has reported. In the vetting process, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services did a background check and discovered 21 Savage had come to the United States legally in 2005 with a visa that had expired. He pleaded guilty to felony drug charges in 2013, and his record was expunged last year.