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At Daniella Silva
The immigration authorities tried to "unnecessarily punish" and "scare" 21
The music, whose real name is She & # 39; yaa bin Abraham-Joseph, "never hid his immigration status" from the US government and has an ongoing U-Visa as a victim of a crime, his lawyer Charles Kuck said in statement Monday afternoon. Abraham-Joseph also has American citizens he supports, which can make him eligible to stay as well, Kuck said.
Abraham-Joseph, 26, was taken into custody on Sunday in the Atlanta area for being declared illegal in the country, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in a statement. ICE spokesman Bryan Cox said that Abraham-Joseph was also convicted of incorrect drug charges in October 2014.
ICE said that Abraham-Joseph was an "illegally present United Kingdom" brought to the United States as a child legally in 2005 for a visa that ended one years later in July 2006.
Kuck admitted Abraham-Joseph and his family exceeded their visa.
"As a minor, his family exceeded his work visa and he, like almost two million other children, was left without a legal position without his own fault," Kuck said Monday.
"Mr. Abraham-Joseph has never hidden his immigration status from the US government," he added. "The home district department has known its address and its history since his application for U-Visa in 2017, but they took no action against him until this weekend."
The rapper was in ICE storage in Georgia and was placed in removal proceedings before immigration courts, ICE said Sunday.
Kuck said that Abraham-Joseph was imprisoned due to "erroneous information on previous criminal charges" but did not state what the allegations he was questioning. The lawyer added that ICE refused to release Abraham-Joseph in connection.
The lawyer added that Abraham-Joseph was neither an aviation hazard nor a danger to society and added: "His contributions to local communities and schools he grew up are examples of the type of immigrants we want in America."
"We and he will fight for his release, for his family and his right to remain in our country," he said.
ICE did not respond to immediate requests for comments Monday.
A U-visa is a special visa for victims of certain crimes "who have suffered psychological or physical abuse and are assisting law enforcement or investigating or prosecuting criminals", according to US citizenship and immigration services.
Only 10,000 U-visors are available every year. Kuck's statement did not indicate the incident during which Abraham-Joseph applied for the visa.
Anastasia Tonello, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said that Abraham-Joseph could face "a pretty difficult case" about what ICE claims is true.
"He's in one of the most infamous jurisdictions for removal," she said. "Atlanta has a very high degree of denial of any kind of discretion or relief."
Tonello said the U-Visa application could help Abraham-Joseph's case if he receives deferred status while this case is ongoing.
If deported, Abraham-Joseph is potentially facing a US ban for at least 10 years on the allegations that he exceeded his visa alone and would need an exception to return to the country even as a visitor, she said.
Tonello said, based on when Abraham-Joseph's visa is said to have expired, he could qualify for expulsion during the DACA program in 2012, if he went out of high school, received his GED certificate or was honorably discharged from the US armed forces. People do not qualify for the DACA if they have been convicted of crimes, significant offenses or a series of misdemeanors.
As the rapper reportedly lacked high school and was convicted of drug charges in 2014, he would not currently qualify for DACA relief, allowing children of illegal immigrants to remain in the United States if they were under 16 when their parents took them to the country and if they arrived in 2007, she said.
The Trump administration moved to end the program at the end of 2017, but federal courts in San Francisco, New York and Washington blocked this attempt. In January, the US Supreme Court took no action in the future of the program, a move that required the government to keep the program running for at least ten months.