21 Savage faces deportation after being arrested by ICE, who allege that he is a British National
According to Complex, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested Grammy nominated rapper 21 Savage on claims that the rapper, whose real name is Sha Yaa bin Abraham-Joseph, is not an American, but a British national who has overstayed his visa.
In their statement to the media, ICE also noted incorrectly that Abraham-Joseph is a convicted felon: “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.”
Abraham-Joseph’s attorney Dina LaPolt told TMZ, “We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with authorities to clear up any misunderstanding. Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in the country–especially in Atlanta, Georgia and is actively working in the community leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy.”
According to VICE reporter Donovan Farley, Abraham-Joseph was arrested along with Atlanta rapper Yung Nudy before being dinged in the system and subsequently turned over to ICE custody. ICE told Farley that they were unaware of Abraham-Joseph’s previous 2014 arrest, otherwise, they would have detained him then.
ICE also claims that he entered the country legally in July of 2005 but had not left the country after his immigrant visa expired. For now, Abraham-Joseph remains in removal proceedings, which will require him to appear before a federal immigration judge.
The timing is just real interesting given his recent speaking out and community work, and we all know ICE has a political agenda. Why now? I’m not even a 21 Savage fan or anything, this is more about not trusting ICE.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) February 3, 2019
Complex also noted that a few days before his arrest, 21 Savage changed lyrics onstage during a performance of his hit song “A Lot” to include statements against the immigration policies of Donald Trump, leading to speculation that the arrest is politically motivated.
The conversation is going to be memes and people questioning 21's actual origins rather than questioning the existence of ICE and how they've been fucking up Black and Brown lives.
— Charles Preston (@_CharlesPreston) February 3, 2019