On Superbowl Sunday, the famous rapper, 21 Savage, was picked up by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement while in Atlanta.
21 Savage, name at birth of She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested by ICE because he is allegedly a citizen of the United Kingdom that came to the United States during his teenage years and has a felony drug conviction on his record.
The arrest has ignited the music industry, many celebrities speaking out in support of 21 Savage and against his arrest. Some of the musicians who have spoken out in Savage’s support are Meek Mill, Cardi B, T.I., and Nicki Minaj.
Jay-Z, issued a statement calling Savage’s arrest a “travesty” and hired an attorney to assist on Savage’s case.
According to ICE spokesperson, Bryan Cox, 21 Savage was arrested during a “targeted operation.” ICE claims that Savage overstayed his United States visa after it expired in July of 2006.
Cox also said that Savage was convicted of felony drug charges in Virginia during October of 2014, but Savage’s lawyers deny that the rapper was convicted. A spokesperson for the Fulton County District Attorney’s office, where ICE says 21 Savage was convicted of the drug charges, said that Savage’s case is sealed under the first offender law in Georgia and said that the District Attorney’s office “cannot confirm or deny any information about the disposition of the matter.”
ICE says that Savage is currently in removal proceedings under federal immigration court.
Savage’s lawyers argue that his arrest was due to lyrics in one of his songs that critiques family separation at the border.
The lyrics are: “Went through some things, but couldn’t imagine my kids stuck at the border, Flint still need water, n****** was innocent, couldn’t get lawyers.”‘
Savage’s legal team said, “Many have speculated as to possible ulterior motives for his arrest and detention, including that he released music five days prior to his arrest by ICE, which included new lyrics condemning the behavior of immigration officials for their detention of children at the border.”
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