OCILLA, Ga. (AP/Gray News) — A lawyer for 21 Savage says the Grammy-nominated rapper has been released from an immigration detention center in south Georgia.
Immigration lawyer Tia Smith said in an email that the rapper, whose given name is She'yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was released Wednesday on $100,000 bond. He had been held in the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla.
Abraham-Joseph, who came to the U.S. from the U.K. when he was 7 and grew up in Atlanta, was arrested early Feb. 3. An immigration judge on Tuesday granted him bond.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has said the British citizen unlawfully overstayed his visa, and originally said his arrest was linked to a 2014 felony drug conviction.
His lawyers told BuzzFeed News, however, that the charge has been abandoned as a pretense to pursue his deportation because the conviction was later vacated.
One of his lawyers, Charles Kuck of Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC, told BuzzFeed the government is now only proceeding with a deportation case against 21 Savage over the overstayed visa. His legal representation has said that the 26-year-old artist’s legal status expired in 2006 through no fault of his own.
“I think this case is emblematic of a lot of cases where people are detained for not correct reasons, but they don’t always have resources to fight the system,” Kuck told BuzzFeed. “This case is very emblematic of what happens in immigration court and detention.”
21 Savage was shown in a photo obtained by TMZ smiling with his mom about to board a small private plane bound for Atlanta.
“That’s how we take people home when they win,” one of his lawyers, Alex Spiro, told TMZ.