Jay-Z calls 21 Savage detention 'absolute travesty,' hires lawyer to case

Rap superstar Jay-Z on Wednesday offered support to fellow hip-hop artist 21 Savage, hiring his own lawyer to assist with his deportation case. 

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"The arrest and detention of 21 Savage is an absolute travesty, his U visa petition has been pending for 4 years," Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, said in a Facebook post. "In addition to being a successful recording artist, 21 deserves to be reunited with his children immediately, #Free21Savage."

Jay-Z's lawyer, Alex Spiro, has since been hired to assist 21 savage's case, according to The Guardian

 

Spiro told Variety that they would not stop working on the case "until [21 Savage] is released, bonded out or in front of a judge."

"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," Spiro added. 

The move from Jay-Z comes only days after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 21 Savage, whose legal name is Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, on charges that he is a citizen of the United Kingdom and has overstayed his visa. ICE said that 21 Savage's arrest stemmed from a "targeted operation."

ICE spokesman Bryan Cox said in a statement Sunday that the rapper legally entered the U.S. in 2005 "but subsequently failed to depart under the terms of his nonimmigrant visa."

Attorney Charles H. Kuck, who is representing the rapper, said on Monday that ICE was refusing to release 21 Savage on bond. The Guardian notes that 21 Savage's representatives argue the rapper can apply for a “cancellation of removal” because of his links to America.

“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," his representative said. "He has exceptionally strong ties in the United States, having lived here since he was in the first grade.”