ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A Rap legend has come to the defense of 21 Savage, the Atlanta musician arrested over Super Bowl weekend on immigration charges.
Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, is working with his New York-based attorney, Alex Spiro, to right what he is calling a travesty.
"We're just trying to look at this creatively and put some pressure on various aspects of the system," Spiro told FOX 5 News from his New York office.
21 Savage, whose real name is Sha Yea Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested Sunday for violating immigration law. Ice says Abraham-Joseph is unlawfully present in the U.S. and also a convicted felon. Adding, he entered the U.S. legally in July 2005 but failed to depart and became unlawfully present when his Visa expired in 2006. His mugshot is from an arrest in 2014 on marijuana charges.
Spiro said it's an overreaction by ICE.
"This is why we rip people off of the street and put them in cages, it doesn't make any sense," said Spiro.
Spiro is working with 21 Savage's Atlanta attorney Charles Kuck. On Twitter, Kuck said among other things, Abraham-Joseph has no criminal convictions or charges. Also, adding he is not subject to mandatory detention under federal law and is eligible for bond. Spiro said getting 21 Savage out of custody is the top priority.
"If other avenues we're exploring do not immediately work out we're going to move for him to be in front of a judge ASAP," said Spiro.
Joseph-Abraham's legal team compared the United Kingdom national to millions of so-called DREAMers, brought to this country as children whose immigration status expired through no fault of their own. Spiro said 21 Savage is aware of his support.
"He knows people are following his case and are supporting him and I think that has buoyed his spirits," said Spiro.
He said if 21 Savage is granted a bond hearing it'll take place at the Federal Courthouse in Atlanta. He did not have a time frame for when it could take place.
The rapper's case has garnered international attention which has now led to an online petition calling on ICE to stop his deportation.