21 Savage boarded a plane today that is carrying him and his mother from the ICE detention center in Georgia, where he was held for the past 10 days due to a visa violation.
He and his mother, Heather Joseph, are seen about to board a private plane back to Atlanta, where he will be reunited with his family.
The rapper was released from ICE’s Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Ga. yesterday, pending a deportation hearing. In a statement, attorneys Charles H. Kuck, Dina LaPolt and Alex Spiro on the rapper’s behalf, wrote:
“For the past 9 long days, we, on behalf of She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, known to the world as 21 Savage, have been speaking with ICE to both clarify his actual legal standing, his eligibility for bond, and provide evidence of his extraordinary contributions to his community and society.
“In the last 24 hours, in the wake of the Grammy Awards at which he was scheduled to attend and perform, we received notice that She’yaa was granted an expedited hearing.
“Today, 21 Savage was granted a release on bond. He won his freedom.
“21 Savage asked us to send a special message to his fans and supporters—he says that while he wasn’t present at the Grammy Awards, he was there in spirit and is grateful for the support from around the world and is more than ever, ready to be with his loved ones and continue making music that brings people together.
“He will not forget this ordeal or any of the other fathers, sons, family members, and faceless people, he was locked up with or that remain unjustly incarcerated across the country. And he asks for your hearts and minds to be with them.”
Savage was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Atlanta on Feb. 3, on the grounds that he is actually from the United Kingdom and overstayed his visa.
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested unlawfully present United Kingdom national Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph AKA ’21 Savage’ during a targeted operation with federal and local law enforcement partners early Sunday in metro Atlanta,” ICE spokesman Brian Cox said. “Mr. Abraham-Joseph was taken into ICE custody as he is unlawfully present in the U.S. and also a convicted felon.” Savage was convicted of felony drug charges in 2014 in Fulton County, Georgia, although that conviction was later expunged, as noted by Kuck, who said the arrest was “based upon incorrect information about prior criminal charges.”
Jay-Z, Cardi B, Kendick Lamar, J. Cole, Post Malone and many other artists have spoken out over Savage’s arrest, some of whom appeared with his mother in a recent PSA. Malone shouted out the rapper’s name and wore a “Free 21 Savage” during his performance at the Grammy Awards, although most viewers did not seem to notice; Malone’s team later serviced a photo of the rapper wearing the shirt. Dua Lipa also spoke out about his incarceration in the press room after the awards.