As many people know on Sunday, February 3, ICE detained famous rapper 21 Savage. He was held on a 23 hour lockdown until being released to his immigration attorney. This case is highly talked about through the immigration industry as well as the entertainment industry. Something that makes this case so unique is that 21 Savage, his real name being She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, boasted many times about being from Atlanta, Georgia. Hearing that, who we thought was from Atlanta, 21 Savage was detained by ICE officers was mind blowing for his fans.
Update February 12, 2019: Rapper 21 Savage, She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was released on bond Wednesday February 12th.
21 Savage Overstayed Visa Facts
Here are some quick facts about the 21 Savage immigration case:
- Born in UK
- Came to US in 2005 at age of 7 under a valid H-4 visa
- Visa expired in 2006
- Overstayed visa since 2006
- Applied for a U-Visa in 2017, pending
- Has 3 US Citizen children
- Has a permanent resident mother and four siblings
How He Could Have Avoided Overstaying His Visa
There are several things that 21 Savage could have done to prevented being detained by ICE.
1. She’yaa Bin’s parents should have applied for another legal visa before his expired in 2006
2. Applied for DACA in 2012
3. Had his mother sponsor him as a child
4. Applied for an EB-1 or EB-2 Visa
5. Applied for the U-Visa earlier
6. Stayed in the UK until he received legal status from the United States
Overstaying Visa Consequences for 21 Savage
The consequences you have for overstaying a visa could include:
- Not being able to adjust your status in the United States.
- Not being able to obtain a new United States visa unless you return home to your country of origin.
- Your existing visa in the United States will be voided.
- You may not be able to apply for a change of status of an extension of stay.
- You may not be able to return to the United States for three years or for 10 years.
These consequences depend on your situation, including how long you’ve overstayed your visa.
Below is a statement from the rappers immigration attorney:
“There has been a great deal of misreporting in the case of She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, known professionally as 21 Savage. Conjecture and misinformation help no one make good decisions and leads to false conclusions. Here are the facts:
Mr. Abraham-Joseph was born in the United Kingdom. Mr. Abraham-Joseph arrived legally in the United states at the age of 7. He remained in the United States until 2005, when he departed for approximately one month to visit the United Kingdom. He returned to the United States under a valid H-4 visa on July 22, 2005. Mr. Abraham-Joseph has been continuously physically presenting in the United States for almost 20 years, except for a brief visit abroad. Unfortunately, in 2006 Mr. Abraham-Joseph’s legal status expired through no fault of his own.
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. Mr. Abraham-Joseph has no criminal convictions or charges under state or federal law and is free to seek relief from removal in immigration court. ICE provided incorrect information to the press when it claimed he had a criminal conviction.
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. He has exceptionally strong ties in the United States, having lived here since he was in the first grade. Because of his length of residence in the United States and his immediate relatives, Mr. Abraham-Joseph is eligible to seek Cancellation of Removal from an Immigration Judge.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph was placed into deportation proceedings AFTER his arrest, he was not in deportation proceedings prior to this detention by ICE. DHS has known his address since the filing of a U visa application in 2017. He has never hidden from DHS or any of its agencies.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph is not subject to mandatory detention under federal law and is eligible for bond. By statute, bond should be granted by ICE when there is no flight risk or a danger to the community. ICE has the ability to set a bond and conditions of release on cases exactly like this. ICE routinely grants bond to individuals in Mr. Abraham-Joseph’s circumstances, specifically individuals who have overstayed a prior valid visa and have relief from deportation under federal law. There is no chance that Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a flight risk. Mr. Abraham-Joseph is not a “danger” to the community as his acts of philanthropy and good will, as well as his music, continue to improve the communities from which he comes.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph has a pending U visa application with the USCIS. This U visa was filed as a result of being the victim of a deadly shooting in 2013. That visa was filed in 2017 and remains pending. When granted, the U visa will afford him lawful status in the United States. Generally, ICE has recognized a pending facially valid U visa as a basis to delay removal proceedings and release individuals from custody.
There continues to be no legal reason to detain Mr. Abraham-Joseph for a civil law violation that occurred when he was a minor, especially when people in his exact situation are routinely released by ICE. Many have speculated as to possible ulterior motives for his arrest and detention, including that he released music five days prior to his arrest by ICE, which included new lyrics condemning the behavior of immigration officials for their detention of children at the border. We are unaware of why ICE apparently targeted Mr. Abraham-Joseph, but we will do everything possible to legally seek his release and pursue his available relief in immigration court.”
Do You Need Help With an Overstayed Visa Status?
While it may be tempting to just do nothing if you are an overstay in the U.S., this is not recommended. A life of “looking over your shoulder” is not a secure way to live. For overstay cases, there is a high risk you can be caught by the U.S. Immigration Authorities and deported. But if you consult with an experience lawyer that handles these matters, there may be viable options for you.
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