ATLANTA (AP) – Rapper Savage was released on bail Tuesday after spending more than a week in the custody of immigration authorities, but was not released immediately, his lawyer said.
The Grammy-nominated rapper, whose real name is She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested in Atlanta on February 3. Officials from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service said the artist, who is a British citizen, stayed in the country longer than his visa permitted and had also been sentenced for another felony.
Abraham-Joseph, 26, would be released on Wednesday, said immigration lawyer Charles Kuck via telephone
In an email statement, attorneys Kuck, Dina LaPolt and Alex Spiro said they had spoken to the immigration and customs service since the arrest “to clarify their true legal status, their eligibility for bail, and provide evidence of their extraordinary contributions to his community and society. “
They said they received notification in the previous 24 hours, “after the Grammy awards that he planned to attend and take”, that they granted him an accelerated hearing. The Grammy ceremony was on Sunday.
Abraham-Joseph was nominated for two awards, including the recording of the year for “Rockstar” with Post Malone. His second solo album, “I Am I Was”, was released in December and debuted as No. 1 on Billboard’s list of the 200 most popular.
After his arrest, the immigration and customs service said that Abraham-Joseph entered the United States legally in July 2005, when he was 12 years old, but has been in the country illegally since his visa expired in July. He was convicted in October 2014 of a serious drug charge in Fulton County, Georgia, the agency said. He was placed in the process of deportation.
The lawyers of Abraham-Joseph gave another version
They said last week that Abraham-Joseph arrived in the United States at the age of 7 and stayed in the country until June 2005, when he traveled to the United Kingdom for a month. He returned with a valid visa on July 22, 2005, they said.
“Mr. Abraham-Joseph has been continuously physically present in the United States for almost 20 years, except for a brief visit abroad,” his lawyers said. “Unfortunately, in 2006 Mr. Abraham-Joseph lost his legal status without it being his fault.”
The lawyers also said that the immigration service incorrectly said that Abraham-Joseph had a conviction for a felony. Fulton County prosecutors said they could not provide information about that case because it was sealed.
The lawyers of Abraham-Joseph said on Tuesday that the rapper asked them to send a message to his followers.
“He said that although he was not present at the Grammys, he was there in spirit and he is grateful for the support received from all over the world and more than ever ready to be with his loved ones and continue making music that unites people”, they said.
They added that he “will not forget this hard experience or any of the parents, children, relatives and faceless people with whom he was imprisoned or who remain unjustly imprisoned throughout the country. And ask them to have them in their minds and hearts. “