21 Savage Faces Deportation After Shock Arrest

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials say 21 Savage has been living in the U.S. illegally.   Photo: Roy ROCHLIN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

The surprise arrest of rapper 21 Savage on allegations that he is in the United States illegally has sparked an outpouring of support for the artist facing potential deportation.

The 26-year old rapper — whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham Joseph — was arrested in the southern city of Atlanta Sunday by immigration agents who say he is, in fact, a British citizen.

The artist has long said he is a local act from Atlanta, the state capital of Georgia, which is considered the home of hip hop innovation.

According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesman Bryan Cox, however, 21 Savage came to the US legally as a minor in July 2005 — “but subsequently failed to depart under the terms of his nonimmigrant visa and he became unlawfully present in the US when his visa expired in July 2006.”

In his statement, Cox added that the artist was convicted of felony drug charges in October 2014.

“Mr. Abraham-Joseph is presently in ICE custody in Georgia and has been placed into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts,” the statement said.

The rapper’s arrest came days after he performed at a pre-Super Bowl concert prior to the championship American football game hosted in Atlanta.

In a statement Sunday night, his lawyer Dina LaPolt said, “We are working diligently to get Mr Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with the authorities to clear up any misunderstandings.”

The news sent shockwaves through social media, with a number of top artists and industry insiders backing the young rapper.

“SUCCESSFUL BLACK MAN,” tweeted rapper Offset, one-third of the Atlanta trap trio Migos. “THEY ALWAYS TRY SOME WAY TO BRING US DOWN.”

“HIS FAMILY DEPENDING ON HIM,” wrote Offset, referencing 21 Savage’s three children.

“Free 21,” tweeted hip hop artist Meek Mill, who was released from prison last year after his unexpectedly heavy sentence for a parole violation sparked protests over racial bias in US probation laws.

Rappers Lil Yachty and Vince Staples echoed that call, along with Alex Tumay, a mix engineer who regularly works with Atlanta artists.

“Abolish ICE,” Tumay tweeted. “ICE arresting celebrities to divert attention from the fact they just admitted they can’t reconnect kids with their parents.”

The US agency has come under fire in recent months for its aggressive deportation policy.

Murky origins

21 Savage, known for his conversational, subdued rap delivery and no-nonsense demeanor, released his debut studio album in 2017.

His lyrics touch on everything from drugs and violence to systemic racism and police brutality.

His second album, “I Am > I Was” debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 in December 2018, holding the number one spot for two consecutive weeks.

The rapper is up Sunday for two Grammys for his work on fellow rapper Post Malone’s smash hit “Rockstar,” including for the major Record of the Year award.

Throughout his rise to fame he has toured the United States but does not appear to have performed abroad.

In public interviews he has not explicitly called himself American, but regularly references his upbringing in Atlanta.

Many of the artist’s supporters were quick to note his contributions to the community.

“Mr Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in this country, especially in Atlanta,” his lawyer LaPolt said, adding that he is “actively working in the community leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy.”

Since the news of 21 Savage’s arrest broke British reports have indicated he originally is from Newham in East London, a detail neither ICE nor his team have commented on.

In 2016 the rapper — who speaks with a thick southern American accent — gave an interview to urban news YouTube channel VladTV, listing a number of Atlanta neighborhoods he has called home.

“I done grew up in all Atlanta really, everybody know me,” he said. “If you don’t, you ain’t from this city.”

AFP

Israel Suspends Plan To Deport African Migrants

Netanyahu Says Government 'Stable' After Police Recommend His Indictment
FILE PHOTO

 

Israel’s Supreme Court on Thursday suspended a controversial government plan to deport thousands of African migrants in response to a challenge from those opposed to the move.

The court said in its decision the state was given until March 26 to provide further information and the suspension on deporting them to a third country would remain in place until then.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January announced the implementation of the programme to remove migrants who entered illegally, giving them a choice between leaving voluntarily or facing indefinite imprisonment with eventually forced expulsion.

According to interior ministry figures, there are currently some 42,000 African migrants in Israel, half of them children, women or men with families, who are not facing immediate deportation.

As the migrants could face danger or imprisonment if returned to their homelands, Israel is offering to relocate them to an unnamed African country, which deportees and aid workers say is Rwanda or Uganda.

Migrants began entering Israel through what was then a porous Egyptian border in 2007. The border has since been strengthened, all but ending illegal crossings.

Israel’s deportation or imprisonment plan has drawn criticism from the United Nations refugee agency as well as from some Israelis and rights activists.

AFP

Cameroun’s Deportation Of Nigerian Refugees Worrisome – Dabiri-Erewa

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has described the alleged forceful deportation of over 100,000 Nigerian asylum seekers by Cameroonian military as worrisome and disturbing.

Dabiri-Erewa in a statement on Friday decried the inhuman treatment meted out to Nigerian asylum seekers who were affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.

She said despite the friendly disposition between the two countries, the alleged deportation of Nigerians was disturbing and calls for concern.

READ ALSO: Nigerians Attacked Again In South Africa

The Presidential aide said Cameroon should heed the UN’s call on all countries to protect refugees fleeing the carnage in the North-East Nigeria and not to return them there.

“This unfriendly attitude of the Cameroonian soldiers to Nigerian asylum seekers is really worrisome,’’ Dabiri-Erewa said as she appealed to ECOWAS and other West African regional groups to prevail on Cameroon to be their brothers’ keeper in a situation like this.

The deportations, according to Human Rights Watch, defy the UN refugee agency’s plea not to return anyone to North-East Nigeria until the security and human rights situation has improved considerably.

Mother Facing Deportation Takes Refuge In U.S. Church

Nury Chavarria, a mother of four in Connecticut facing deportation after living in the United States for 24 years, sought refuge inside a church in New Haven on Thursday.

Chavarria came to the United States from Guatemala in 1993 at the age of 19. After her application for asylum was denied, Chavarria stayed in the U.S.

Working as a housekeeper, Chavarria had yearly check-ins with immigration officials. At her last check-in in June, Chavarria was told to pack up and leave her home in Norwalk, according to Connecticut media reports.

Instead of flying back to Guatemala, Chavarria defied the deportation order and sought sanctuary inside a Pentecostal church.

She has support from the state’s religious and political leaders, including Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy.

“Every time we accept being lied to or misled by our government, we are endangering our personal freedoms. And that’s part of what’s at stake here,” Malloy said of plans to deport her.

Nury Chavarria and her daughter

During a news conference outside the church, Chavarria’s nine-year-old daughter Hayley, pleaded for her mother to stay in the U.S.

“My mother Nury Chavarria is someone I love more than anyone in the world. She is not a criminal,” she said.

The order for Chavarria to leave the U.S. falls in line with U.S. President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

However, federal officials do not raid churches to make arrests, NBC affiliate WVIT reported, citing an immigration official.

Deportation:Lagos State Made A Mistake Not Following Up

Mr. Joe Igbokwe, the former publicity secretary for ACN, Lagos has agreed that there was a mistake on the part of the Lagos state government in deporting some Igbo persons out of Lagos state.

He also blamed the agency that carried out the exercise adding that Governor Babatunde Fashola should have done a follow up on the exercise.

He expressed his views concerning the Lagos/Anambra feud on Channels television’s breakfast programme on Monday saying that “this deported people are abused, mentally abused people and  are incoherent in speech and communication, they have been rehabilitated, and they were sent to be reunited with their families”.

During the programme, Mr Igbokwe maintained that lies have been told pertaining this issue on ground and it’s a big issue when similar events have occurred in the north and Ibadan.

On the news about dropping the people at 3am on a bridge, he regarded this as “a failure in duty and playing politics”.

“Every state including Anambra and Lagos have learnt lessons on responsibility of human beings from this peculiar situation”, he said.

He added that the Lagos state government has been meeting with the Anambra state government concerning this case since April this year, he blamed the Anambra state government for not being responsible for this people and responsive towards the move.

 

Fashola Is Not Anti-Igbo

In light of the accusations made against the Fashola led Lagos government, of encouraging tribalism, a Public Affairs analyst, Cdon Adinuba, has said that Governor Babtunde Fashola is not ‘anti-Igbo’.

While discussing the controversial deportation of certain individuals to Anambra state on Channels Television’s Sunrise, Mr Adinuba said that the Fashola’s administration’s aim to turn Lagos into a mega city is paving way for “a new social order” which means taking a lot of people away from the streets. “This initiative has been on for 6 years,” he said.

Following the many criticisms against the Lagos government for ‘deporting’ some citizens of the country to Anambra state, Mr Adinuba said it is untrue that Governor Fashola is unfriendly to Igbos in the metropolis.

Citing cases such as the state assistance of N4.5million given to actress, Ngozi Nwosu, who needed financial assistance for her failing health, Mr Adinuba added that the Lagos governor cares about the Igbo tribe.

He discarded rumours of bad blood between the two state governors. “He’s a personal friend and we are very proud of him”. He added that he had in his possession, 5 letters of correspondence, between the Lagos and Anambra governments.

He blamed subordinates who may not have carried out their assignments appropriately.

A legal practitioner, Emeka Okpoko confirmed that the Anambra governor is not attacking Governor Fashola, but also respects him.

However, he said Governor Obi was not speaking solely for Anambra indigenes, but for every citizen.

We confirmed that there were indeed correspondences between the two governments but insisted that Lagos state did not conduct the proceedings properly.

“Government business is not done by 3am,” he said.

He also described the act as unconstitutional and illegal.

Also speaking during the breakfast programme, the National Coordinator, Alliance for Positive Reform, Oscar Onwundiwe, said that the Lagos government has done something wrong but Governor Fashola is not happy about the bad publicity.

Gay Nigerian in UK fights deportation

Olamilekan Ayelokun

Nearly 2000 people have signed an online petition to support a gay Nigerian asylum seeker, who fears he might be killed if deported.
Olamiekan Ayelokun claimed he fled Nigeria eight-years -ago to escape persecution because of his sexual orientation.

However, a judge at Bradford’s Immigration Court has stated that he is not convinced Mr Ayelokun is gay and ordered for his deportation last week.

The 28-year-old was supposed to have been deported to Nigeria on October 3. However, that decision has been delayed until further notice.

A friend of Mr Ayelokun’s, Jason Feather, who started the petition to prevent him from being deported, said “I have been told that the Nigerian authorities do monitor international news. If he was to be taken to Nigeria now the authorities would know he is a gay man. In the south, he would get up to 14 years in prison and in the north where Sharia law is practised he might be killed.”

More than 1700 people have so far signed the petition asking immigration officials to change their minds.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) said Mr Ayelokun a nursing student who now resides in Bradford had lived in the UK illegally, having overstayed a visitors’ visa that expired in 2003.

He put in an application to stay in the country in 2011; at that point he was then required to sign every week.

Mr Ayelokun was detained on September 25th after a routine appointment at the UK Border Agency’s Waterside Court offices in Leeds.

A UKBA spokesman said “Mr Ayelokun lived in the UK illegally for eight years, having overstayed a visit visa that expired in 2003.

“He did not claim asylum until 2011, after he was arrested by UK Border Agency officers for using false documents to gain employment.

“At no point has he been able to provide sufficient evidence of his sexuality, and our decision not to grant him asylum has been upheld by an independent immigration judge.

“Where people do not have the right to be in the UK we will take steps to remove them.”

However, Mr Ayelokun’s friends and supporters, whose petition is on change.org, have rejected the UKBA’s claims.

They said UK immigration officials are breaching the European Convention on Human Rights by “sending someone to a situation where he or she has a ‘real risk’ of being subjected to ‘torture or an inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’”.

Veteran gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell is also supporting Ayelokun. He said “Regardless of his past mistakes, Ola should be given asylum on the grounds that if he is returned to Nigeria he will be at serious risk of homophobic persecution. It is outrageous for any judge to suggest that a person who has a number of gay relationships is not gay.

“This case is further evidence of the way Britain asylum system abuses refugees. The system is rigged to fail as many asylum seekers as possible regardless of their individual merit.”

He said: “The coalition government is not living up to its pledge to provide a safe haven for gay Africans who face victimisation. It is a betrayal of (Prime Minister) David Cameron’s pledge.”

Pirate Bay founder still in jail, may be charged for Logica hacking

The co-founder popular torrent tracker; The Pirate Bay is still in the authorities of the Swedish police after his deportation from Cambodia to Sweden and he is being held as a suspect in the hacking of a Swedish IT company; Logica.

It would be recalled that Gottfrid Svartholm was caught in Cambodia and upon deportation to Sweden was arrested for not appearing for his jail sentence, and was then deported to Sweden from Cambodia.

At Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport in Sweden, local authorities immediately detained him due to a suspicion of him being involved in the hacking of Logica, a Swedish IT company that works with local tax authorities.

However, since Svartholm hasn’t yet been charged officially in the Logica case, he could only be held in jail for a few days.

It is possible that The Pirate Bay website has been shut down as it has not been accessible in while, whether or not it is a permanent shut down is not known yet.

Then again, Svartholm will be stuck in jail for at least two more weeks, thanks to request put in by Prosecuter Henry Olin, who insists that Svartholm remain detained while the investigation into the Logica hack continues. To prevent the Pirate Bay co-founder from interfering with the investigation, Svartholm is not allowed to have visitors and is being denied access to newspapers and television.

Two other Swedish citizens were also arrested and put in jail under suspicion of being involved in the Logica hack as well. One of the suspects was a member of the group that founded The Pirate Bay back in 2003. Both suspects have since been released. Svartholm denies any involvement with the Logica hack.

 

South Africa apologizes to Nigeria over deportation row

The South African government has issued an apology to the Nigerian government over the deportation of its citizens from the Johannesburg Airport, a gesture that was equally reciprocated by the Nigerian authorities causing a diplomatic row between the two countries.

MMIA, Lagos

“We wish to humbly apologize to them, and we have,” South Africa’s deputy foreign minister, Ibrahim Ibrahim, told reporters. “We are apologizing because we deported a number of people who should not have been deported.”

Two officials from the Nigerian High Commission were present at the news conference at South Africa’s foreign ministry but refused to comment beyond a joint statement that described reciprocation of a deportation gesture. The two countries have however said the row will not sour the sweet relationship they share.

On March 2, South Africa deported 125 Nigerians who, according to airport health authorities, carried fraudulent yellow fever cards. Since then, authorities in Lagos, raising health concerns, have deported South Africans.

Ibrahim said South African airport authorities did not properly check to determine whether the cards were authentic. He said South Africa was considering reopening a health clinic at the airport to ensure such deportations are not repeated.

Nigeria Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ashiru, speaking to members of the National Assembly on Tuesday, linked the deportations to what he called the “xenophobia” faced by Nigerian immigrants living in South Africa who fear police who arrest them without cause.

Rejects xenophobic charge

“We are not a xenophobic country,” Ibrahim said Thursday.

A wave of violence in 2009 that left scores injured and about 62 people dead further fueled the xenophobic claims. Most of those attacked during the violence were foreigners, Nigerians inclusive, competing for housing and jobs.

The Nigerian Foreign Affairs ministry had sought an apology from South Africa or risk a ban on all diplomatic and bilateral relations.

Nigerian Immigration “Reciprocate” South African Deportation Gesture

 

MMIA, Lagos

The diplomatic row between Nigeria and South Africa deepened on Tuesday night as another batch of 16 South Africans were deported from the country.

This brings to 44 the number of South Africans deported from Nigeria in two days.

Immigration sources at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos said the 16 dep

ortees, who arrived in Nigeria aboard a South African Airways Airbus A330 at about 8:30pm, were denied entry due “improper travel documents”.

According to the sources, the exercise was supervised by the Deputy Controller of Immigration in charge of the MMIA, Mrs. Rebecca Ayuba.

It is believed that the repatriation of South Africans might continue if their government refuses to stop the alleged maltreatment of Nigerians travelling to Southern African country over a lack of genuine yellow fever vaccination cards.

Twenty-eight South Africans were sent back home on Monday night for improper travel documentation and lack of travel health certificate, according to immigration sources.

Sources say five conditions have been given to the South African government to meet in order to restore diplomatic and bilateral relations, the five conditions are:

•unconditional apology to Nigeria over the deportation of 125 Nigerian travellers last Friday from the Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg;

•compensation for all the victims of the harsh treatment;

•disciplinary action against all the officials involved in the cruelty to Nigerians;

•a review of the Yellow Fever Vaccination Card policy; and

•a commitment that such a diplomatic slip will not re-occur.

It is also believed that the difference the duo shared during the Libyan crises gave rise to the unfolding of events as President Jacob Zuma backed the ousted Muamar Ghadafi while Nigerian President Backed the National Transition Council (NTC).

Deportation a Reciprocacy-Abike Dabiri

Chairman House Committee on Diaspora; Abike Dabiri  in clear terms expressed her bitterness on the deportation by the government of South Africa of 125 Nigerians back to Nigeria and the reason given is that the deportees have no  Yellow Card or the cards were faked.

In a phone interview staged by Channels Television, Abike Dabiri mentioned that South Africa has been hostile towards Nigerians.

House summons Foreign Affairs Minister over SA deportation

Arik Air Suspends Johannesburg Flights

Eager to ward off a looming diplomatic row between Nigeria and South Africa over the deportation of 125 Nigerians from South Africa on Friday, the House of Representatives has summoned Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gbenga Ashiru, to appear before it on Tuesday.

Chairperson of the House of Representatives’ committee on foreign affairs, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, says the country is concerned with growing maltreatment of Nigerians in foreign countries, calling the latest deportation of 125 Nigerians, over the alleged failure to provide genuine yellow fever vaccination documentations, a grave insult.

“The outcome of the meeting will shape our next line of action as a parliament in our foreign policy direction and relationship with these countries. We cannot allow these insults on our citizens and country continues unabated’’ she said.

The permanent secretary, ministry of foreign affairs, Martin Uhomoibhi said the ministry was surprised at what happened in South Africa.

“These Nigerians have legitimate visas, and the yellow card was part of the packages that needed to be cleared before they are given visas,” he said.

Mr Uhomoibhi said another question that his ministry is seeking answer is “why those who travel from here to South Africa who are South African not get the same treatment with or without yellow card?”

He said the ministry is already in dialogue with the South African authority to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

The deportees, 75 who had arrived via South African Airways (SAA) and 50 passengers coming in with Arik Air, had been returned to Nigeria hours after their arrival on Thursday, including some who had visited the country several times before.

The mass deportation has frayed relations between both countries, with Arik Air announcing that it was suspending flights to South Africa for the time being.

Adebanji Ola, head of communications for the airline, said the decision to suspend flights between the commercial hubs of both African countries “was taken due to the ongoing dispute between international airlines operating in Johannesburg and the Port Health Authorities over Yellow Fever documentation being presented to authorities at OR Tambo International Airport by passengers”.

The passengers were denied entry into South Africa when Port Health authorities claimed that the batch numbers on the vaccination documentation provided by the travelers had been incorrect.

“Arik has reached the conclusion that the irregular and obfuscating nature of this protocol is having an impact on its passengers and does not wish to proceed with operations into a country where its customers are at risk of detainment or any other measures meted out arbitrarily by the authorities,” the company said in a statement.

Group CEO/President of Arik Air, Dr. Michael Arumeni-Ikhide, said while he had been informed that the “current crack-down is not unique to Nigeria and its inbound passengers”, he is determined to take a stand to “show the Port Health Authorities we are simply not prepared for our customers to be treated in this manner”.

Mr. Tope Awe, spokesperson for South Africa Airways assured that the national carrier had made concerted efforts to avoid deportation of Nigerians.

He said the airline had gone to great lengths to authenticate the vaccination documents, but had been unable to do so; the country’s government had insisted that the deported passengers had failed to meet Port Health criteria and as such must be sent back to Nigeria.