Lawyers for rapper 21 Savage are disputing federal agents' claims about the 26-year-old, who was arrested Sunday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. ICE said the rapper—whose real name is Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph—had been deceiving everyone about having Atlanta roots, was actually from the U.K., and had overstayed his immigration visa for years.
That's all false, his lawyers say. While his Wikipedia page did indeed claim he was from Atlanta, the artist didn't write the entry himself.
It's understandable why whoever did may have been confused, since 21 Savage did attend junior high and high school in Atlanta and has been here since 2005.
An ICE spokesperson told WSBTV that the arrest was related to 21 Savage's status as "a convicted felon." But the one criminal charge in the rapper's history—a 2014 arrest on drug possession charges—was expunged last September, his lawyer Charles H. Kuck said. So if that's the reason for 21 Savage's arrest, it's "based on incorrect information about prior criminal charges."
ICE is right that the artist did overstay his visa—it expired way back in 2006. But it's not exactly his fault: At the time of his coming to the U.S. and his staying past the permitted time, 21 Savage was a minor. His parents brought him here when he was 12, and then overstayed their own work visas the following year.
"Like almost two million other children, [21 Savage] was left without legal status through no fault of his own," said Kuck. He continued:
This is a civil law violation, and the continued detention of Mr. Abraham-Joseph serves no other purpose than to unnecessarily punish him and try to intimidate him into giving up his right to fight to remain in the United States.
As an adult, 21 Savage has since been trying to get his immigration status right. In 2017, he applied for a U-Visa, admitting then to his undocumented plight. The Department of Homeland Security "has known his address and his history" since then, explained Kuck.
It's unclear why ICE waited until now to make a move. But what is clear is that some initial reporting and speculation surrounding the rapper's arrest were unwarranted. This isn't a case of a criminal brazenly trying to avoid detection, but a young man paying for his parents' actions and being used as a pawn in immigration politics.
21 Savage's arrest came just a few days after he performed on The Tonight Show.
ICE is currently holding him in federal custody without eligibility for bond. "We and he will fight for his release," said Kuck, "and his right to remain in our country."
Oh, Libertarian Bill Weld, we hardly knew ye… The former governor of Massachusetts and 2016 Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee has returned to the Republican party.
The move squelches rumors that Weld was planning to run for president on the Libertarian ticket in 2020.
The moral case for capitalism—we need to get better at making it, argues John Allison at the Cato Institute.
The reason I personally support capitalism is because it is the only economic system that depends on the freely-given consent of its participants to function.
Market intrusions by government are attacks on this consent, though they are frequently credited for protecting it. https://t.co/Xv8VohXuIR
— Kat Murti (@KatMurti) February 4, 2019
• The State of the Union address is tonight.
• The Senate Judiciary Committee today will consider the nomination of Neomi Rao to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit Court. A former classmate sings her praises and pleads with Democrats to leave partisan politics out of it.
• Conspiracy theorists are promising "vigilante justice" if Trump doesn't start arresting more Satanic Democrat pedophiles soon.
• Actor Liam Neeson is facing blowback after telling an interviewer he once stalked around the city hoping to kill a random black man. Here's your periodic reminder that Neeson's biggest films—the sex-trafficking action/panic franchise Taken—are "based on a true story" that was totally fabricated.
(We all know that the movie "Taken" claimed to be "based on a true story" about sex trafficking, but the perpetrator of that lie was later found out to be a total fraud who made it all up to scam people, right?).https://t.co/Ah600D09gd
— Mistress Matisse (@mistressmatisse) February 5, 2019
• Take that, Jean Twenge:
Social media isn't creating a "suicidal generation", although if you cherry-pick your data like a climate denier then you can make it look like it is https://t.co/gwzmy0H6h8
— Tom Chivers (@TomChivers) February 4, 2019
• A new study published in the Lancet finds "that the risk of pancreatic, colorectal, endometrial, and gallbladder cancers in millennials is significantly higher than the risk Baby Boomers were facing when they were the same age."
• Only the best for our president:
President Trump's pick to lead the World Bank is Trump campaign advisor & Treasury undersecretary David Malpass, who was a Bear Stearns economist perhaps best known for his optimistic forecasts for the U.S. economy in 2007 just before the financial crisis https://t.co/wJSf8BZXaA https://t.co/FWTZMe3vKC
— Anna Massoglia (@annalecta) February 5, 2019