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Lawyer: ICE to Release Grammy-Nominated Rapper

21 Savage 'won his freedom'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2019 5:30 AM CST
FILE - In this Aug. 20, 2018, file photo, 21 Savage poses in the press room at the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
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(Newser) – It's too late for him to attend the Grammys, where he was nominated for two awards, but lawyers for Atlanta-based rapper 21 Savage say they have secured his release from immigration custody. The 26-year-old, whose real name is She'yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested Feb. 3 and many fans were surprised to discover that he is a British citizen whose US visa expired in 2006. Law firm Kuck Baxter Immigration said in a Facebook post Tuesday a judge granted 21 Savage a release on bond and he would be freed from immigration detention Wednesday, the New York Times reports. Lawyer Dina LaPolt says her client was 12 when he was "left without legal status through no fault of his own" after his family overstayed their visa.

Lawyer Charles Kuck says 21 Savage—who was shot six times on his 21st birthday in 2013—applied for a "U" visa as a victim of crime in 2017, the BBC reports. Kuck says the rapper spoke "powerfully" about his life during a court appearance Tuesday. His next appearance will be April 11, the lawyer says. The rapper's cause has been taken up by fellow artists including Jay-Z, who calls the arrest an "absolute travesty," and Metro Boomin, who wore a "Free 21 Savage" coat during a Tonight Show appearance Monday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Swedish producer Ludwig Goransson was among those who referenced 21 Savage at the Grammys. The rapper "should be here tonight," Goransson said after accepting an award for Childish Gambino's "This Is America." (Demi Lovato deleted her Twitter account after making fun of the arrest.)

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