One of the most high profile deportation case that the Trump era has seen, the potential deportation of British-born rapper 21 Savage has been summed up by his attorney as “emblematic” of what nearly 50,000 other Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) detainees and immigrants. But it’s also emblematic of another hard truth: those with money have a special privilege.
Although he was still detained by Ice, it seems that both his celebrity and his bank account have proven extremely useful in helping him to stay in the U.S. Those with money have the ability to hire and pay the most talented of immigration lawyers. Having good counsel is understandably extremely valuable when it comes to winning cases.
The Problem of No Representation
However, not only are some detained by Ice unable to afford more experienced attorneys, many of them simply have no attorney. In fact, according to a 2015 study by the University of Pennsylvania, only 14 percent of detained immigrants had representation in removal proceedings. The right to a state-appointed attorney is guaranteed by the sixth amendment, but only in criminal law proceedings. Immigration proceedings are considered civil law, so no attorney is guaranteed.
Those without an attorney are at an extreme disadvantage. Many do not know that lawyers are to be paid upfront or that a hearing is supposed to be requested. In 21 Savage’s situation, he has a team of attorneys, one of whom was paid for by rapper Jay Z.
Though 21 Savage’s immigration trial may not start for a long period of time, he had the $100,000 bail required in order for him to be released. Unfortunately, for the numerous immigrants who do not have the money to pay bail, they are left caged for months or even years. In comparison, 21 Savage was in custody for only nine days. A 2017 internal study by Ice found that the facilities in which those in custody are confined to lack many basic health needs and fail to meet detainees’ basic rights at certain centers.
The Power of a Strong Support System
Luckily for 21 Savage, his detention was met by hundreds if not thousands supporting and advocating for him as well as a congressman who submit a letter of support to the judge overseeing the case.
Though it is true that 21 Savage is no different than other long-term U.S. residents who have overstayed their visa, but have family who are U.S. citizens. It is likely that his attorneys will look to show that his family – especially his children – will face “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” if he is unable to remain in the country while waiting for his special visa to process. He will also likely apply for a work permit in the meantime.
The Law Office of Michele Alcalde Can Help
If you or a loved one is facing possible deportation or other immigration issues, it is so important that you have an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced with immigration law. At the Law Office of Michele Alcalde, we know the law and we work hard to eliminate the hardships that our clients are facing. To learn more or for a free consultation, find us online or call us at 732-766-1407 today!
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