Rapper 21 Savage Donates $25K to Disgraced Southern Poverty Law Center

21 Savage performs at The Budweiser Made In America Festival on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, in Philadelphia (Photo by Michael Zorn/Invision/AP)
Michael Zorn/Invision/AP

Rapper 21 Savage donated $25,000 to the disgraced Southern Poverty Law Center after his arrest by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for breaking immigration laws.

The rapper’s attorney claimed that the donation would go to give legal aid to illegal aliens held in detention centers.

“21 Savage is making this donation public because everyday Americans need to know that ICE is using civil immigration detention as a weapon against immigrants, many of whom, like 21 Savage, have relief from deportation and are able to fix their immigration status,” attorney Charles Kuck said in a press release.

The SPLC’s Willemijn Keizer said in a statement, “Only one in six immigrants detained in the Southeast has access to an attorney in removal proceedings. For an immigrant in detention, that legal representation can mean the difference between winning or losing their case — between staying with their family or being forced to return to a place that is no longer home.”

The “A Lot” singer, whose real name is She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was born in the UK and was brought to the U.S. legally in 2005. But he did not re-apply for a visa once his original paperwork expired.

In February, ICE released a statement saying:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested unlawfully present United Kingdom national Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph AKA “21 Savage” during a targeted operation with federal and local law enforcement partners early Sunday in metro Atlanta. Mr. Abraham-Joseph was taken into ICE custody as he is unlawfully present in the U.S. and also a convicted felon.

Mr. Abraham-Joseph initially entered the U.S. legally in July 2005, but subsequently failed to depart under the terms of his nonimmigrant visa and he became unlawfully present in the U.S. when his visa expired in July 2006. In addition to being in violation of federal immigration law, Mr. Abraham-Joseph was convicted on felony drug charges in October 2014 in Fulton County, Georgia.

The Southern Poverty Law Center also has mounting legal troubles of its own, with credibility-torpedoeing reporting coming from left-wing outlets like The New York Times and the Washington Post, among other. With its long history of accusing other organizations of “hate” — often falsely — The SPLC recently faced accusations of racism, corruption, and sexual harassment and the departure of several senior leaders.

In March, the New York Times reported:

On March 14, a group of employees wrote to the [SPLC]’s leaders and warned that “allegations of mistreatment, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racism threaten the moral authority of this organization and our integrity along with it.”

After the center announced that it had fired Morris Dees, its charismatic co-founder, for misconduct, another group of employees sent a separate letter accusing the center’s leadership of being “complicit in decades of racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and sexual harassment and/or assault.”

Mr. Dees, 82, has denied any wrongdoing.

In addition, Bob Moser, a former SPLC staffer, told the New Yorker: “The work could be meaningful and gratifying. But it was hard, for many of us, not to feel like we’d become pawns in what was, in many respects, a highly profitable scam.”

The U.S. government also recently stopped using the SPLC’s so-called “hate map” as a source for crime information.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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