The Group Goes After ICE’s Targeting Of The Black Community
On Sunday, the Internet was left in shock when word hit that 21 Savage was arrested by ICE and could be deported to the U.K.
Well the Black Lives Matter network isn’t about to sit around and not do anything about the rapper’s detainment. The movement’s co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors started a petition on OrganizeFor.org demanding a stop to 21’s deportation. The petition explains how 21, born She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, is just one example of a larger issue of Black deportation:
“The circumstances of Mr. Abraham-Joseph’s detention stand as a testament to the consistent and historically under-reported harassment and targeting of Black immigrants,” the petition reads. “The US’ violent history of criminalizing Blackness intersects with its deadly legacy of detaining and deporting Black and Brown immigrants. This needs to stop today!”
The petition is aiming for 200,000 signatures and has already received over 128,000 as of Tuesday morning. The hashtag #Free21Savage has also been created to push the cause.
According to WSB-TV 2, 21’s legal rep Charles Kuck released a statement saying 21’s arrest was “based upon incorrect information about prior criminal charges and [ICE is] now refusing to release him on bond of any amount, despite the fact that he has a pending U-Visa application (as the victim of crime) with USCIS, and that he has relief from removal available to him.”
A U-Visa is a special category for victims of specific crimes “who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity,” according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Only 10,000 U-Visas are available every year. Kuck didn’t explain the incident based on which 21 applied for the visa.
Kuck said that his client isn’t currently being charged with any crimes, thus 21’s detainment is a “civil law violation” and “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.”
Kuck also mentioned that “Mr. Abraham-Joseph has US citizen children that he supports and is eligible for relief from deportation. We and he will fight for his release, for his family, and his right to remain in our country.”
If you’re interested in signing the petition for 21’s release, you can check it out here.