Jay-Z is fighting for 21 Savage.
The 4:44 rapper’s record label, Roc Nation, has hired an attorney for 21 Savage after the U.K. born Atlanta rapper’s recent Immigrations and Customs Enforcement arrest, ET has learned. ICE arrested 21 in Georgia on Sunday, alleging that the music producer has been in the U.S. illegally for more than a decade.
According to ICE, the rapper is currently awaiting removal proceedings in federal immigration courts.
In a statement to Billboard, Jay-Z decried the arrest, saying, “The arrest and detention of 21 Savage is an absolute travesty, his U-visa petition has been pending for 4 years,” adding, “In addition to being a successful recording artist, 21 deserves to be reunited with his children immediately, #Free21Savage.”
In speaking out, Jay-Z joins the chorus of people in the rapper’s corner, and on Tuesday, 21 Savage’s legal team put out a statement explaining his legal status.
“Mr. Abraham-Joseph [She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph is 21’s real name] was born in the United Kingdom,” the statement read. “Mr. Abraham-Joseph arrived legally in the United States at the age of 7… Mr. Abraham-Joseph has been continuously physically present 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.”
The statement also refutes claims of prior felony drug arrests that ICE agents say contributed to his detainment, according to CBS News.
“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,” the statement reads. “ICE provided incorrect information to the press when it claimed he had a criminal conviction.”
For more on 21 Savage’s legal situation, watch the video above.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time Jay-Z has used his platform as an artist to fight for criminal justice reform and support his fellow artists. The hip hop mogul advocated for Meek Mill during his time behind bars for probation violation on a nearly decade-old drug and gun case. This January, just months after the Philadelphia Supreme Court ordered the rapper’s release after serving five months behind bars, he and Jay-Z announced REFORM Alliance, an organization devoted to fighting mass incarceration through changing laws and public opinion.