Jay Z and his entertainment company Roc Nation have demanded the release of Hip Hop artist 21 Savage from ICE custody, TMZ reported Wednesday.
Jay Z called the arrest of the “Bank Account” rapper a travesty and that his family needed to be taken into consideration. Savage was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Atlanta on February 3 amid accusations that he overstayed his visit in the country and that his street persona was a fraud.
“The arrest and detention of 21 Savage is an absolute travesty, his U visa petition has been pending for 4 years. In addition to being a successful recording artist, 21 deserves to be reunited with his children immediately, #Free21Savage,” Jay Z said in a statement.
Jay Z also enlisted the legal help of attorney Alex Spiro to help the recording artist secure his freedom.
“We are not going to stop until he 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 4 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 said.
Savage, whose legal name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was born in the United Kingdom and came to the United States as a child. His other attorneys released a statement Tuesday in which they denied ICE accusations and claimed the arrest was retaliation for the rapper being critical of the agency. They argued that the arrest was a civil violation and that he never hid his immigration status.
“Mr. Abraham-Joseph, like almost two million of his immigrant child peers, was left without immigration status as a young child with no way to fix his immigration status. These ‘Dreamers’ come from all walks of life and every ethnicity,” the statement read.