, 26 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
1/ "How many lawyers you got?"


I hope he's got a good one on call, but in the meantime this one is here to explain a few things about what we know about his immigration situation and where his case is likely headed

2/ First: It does seem to be confirmed that #21Savage was born in the Caribbean nation of Dominica, a "Commonwealth" country with remaining ties to the UK which entitle certain citizens to British passports.

3/ ICE claims that #21Savage overstayed his visa and has no lawful immigration status.

Let's say just for purposes of this thread they're correct. This would be very, very bad for him.
4/ Travelers entering the US on British passports enter "visa waived," with permission to remain for 90 days. If that's actually how he entered, he would have no right to see a judge and virtually no defense to deportation. BUT this (still developing) story may have more to it.
5/ This is very confusing (and, again, still developing) but ICE is alleging that he entered as British citizen (not national) with an unspecified non-immigrant visa valid for exactly 1 yr. Suggestions from #immigrationlaw Twitter welcome on what this might have been.
6/ If he did overstay a non-immigrant visa rather than enter visa waived on his British passport alone, he has the right to make his case to an #immigrationcourt. But ICE is also saying he has felony drug charges. That's going to kill any chance he might have had of staying.
7/ Assuming best case that his conviction is only for drug possession (other than <30 gms of MJ), he'll still be disqualified from "cancellation of removal," the only option in #immigrationcourt which allows undocumented people to stay based on the merits of their time here.
8/ This is especially unfortunate given his 3 US citizen kids and his record of community service and philanthropy. He may well have a good case to remain in the US if not for these convictions.
9/ If the drug convictions are for anything worse than possession, he likely has no options other than a claim for protection under the Convention Against Torture--obvs not the best available argument against deportation to the UK
10/ Depending on how fed law has been interpreted in Georgia he likely will be *not* be eligible for release on bond from immigration detention. May be a good opportunity for a national conversation re: why we people w/minor drug charges are subjected to mandatory ICE lockup.
11/ Also need to point out here that even if he were married to a US citizen (usually the easiest imm option) *any* drug charge beyond <30 gms of MJ means permanent bar from a greencard. (There's a waiver available for many worse things, including spousal abuse + manslaughter)
12/ He also can't self-petition as an "alien of extraordinary ability" despite his international fame (a visa he might qualify for otherwise) due to his unlawful presence and convictions.
13/ To review, it's likely from available info that #21Savage:

--won't be released from ICE custody
--will have no options in #immigrationcourt (IF he is even eligible to see a judge)
--will be deported for life with no chance of return if the drug conviction(s) can't be vacated
14/ Again: developing situation, & I don't know any more than what's being reported. But even from public info so far it looks to be an instructional example of how our imm and crim justice systems can overlap in the worst possible ways, and the complexities beyond the headlines
15/ Ending this thread with the simple fact that greencard holder Justin Bieber, a white Canadian, has been arrested for multiple deportable felonies (incl drug poss & aggravated vandalism) and is sailing along to citizenship without an apparent hitch.

(FOOTNOTE: he came as a minor, so didn't apply for his own visa regardless and was likely included in his mother's. Tourist visas are issued for 6 months max but can be extended for another 6. My best guess rn is a J1 exchange visa. We'll see.)
(Cringing at multiple typos there, my brain got ahead of my Blackberry)
(FOOTNOTE: Bieber's original charge in the very cool and adult crime of egging a wealthy neighbor's house w/more than $10K in damages likely constituted an "aggravated felony" which should have had him deported for life.)
(OK, "likely" is overstating it and I am not a CA lawyer and don't want to say anything definitive. But malicious destruction of property has been interpreted as an aggfel here in MA in the past.)
important additional details on this point & important reminder re: UK's own racist targeting of Caribbean nationals via Operation #Windrush from an attorney far more qualified to speak on this

TO BE CLEAR: The Biebs has been charged w/multiple assaults, several drug possessions, the aforementioned surprisingly-destructive egging & two DUIs (not deportable, but routinely enough to bring other deportable offenses to ICE's attention when they involve non-white immigrants)
ALSO resisting arrest, reckless driving, and more assaults than I'd previously remembered. Just all kinds of deportability in there. Absolutely would have been detained by ICE if he were one of my Central American clients, greencard or otherwise.
(that "we" was a typo, obvs)

Sorry to say that #21Savage may have been a victim of a common misunderstanding: that "expungement" of a criminal conviction can somehow shield from immigration consequences. It's just not true. The conviction has to be *vacated* on legal or Constitutional grounds


This tweet was written within hours of the arrest when there was no solid news. Daily Mail appears to have obtained his actual UK birth certificate and, barring a spontaneous #21Savage #birther movement he was actually born in London

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