21 SAVAGE ARREST
On February 3rd, 2019, Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, otherwise known as 21 Savage, was arrested by ICE (Immigration Customs and Enforcement) and taken into custody. A citizen of the United Kingdom, Savage came to the United States and overstayed his Visa. ICE is claiming that his Visa expired in 2006 when Savage was just 14 years old.
21 Savage remained in custody until February 13th, 2019 and was released on a $100,000 bail.
In an interview with the New York Times, 21 explains that growing up without a legal status played a huge role in his identity. Entering the country when he was just 7, Savage found out about his illegal status when he was in his teens. “I couldn’t never take driver’s ed, I couldn’t never go get a job,” said Savage.
He also mentioned that learning to live without legal status was something he just got used to. “It felt impossible. It got to the point where I just learned to live without it. ’Cause I still ain’t got it, I’m 26, and I’m rich. So, just learned to live without it.”
There is speculation that he came up on ICE’s radar after applying for a U Visa, a visa given to crime victims who assist law enforcement officials with an active investigation. It is reported that Savage witnessed the shooting of one of his friends and fellow gang member.
Savage was previously arrested for felony drug charges in Fulton County, Georgia, but was expunged from his record last year.
Even though the rapper applied for a visa, Department of Homeland Security noted that it can take over three years for an applicant to even get on the waiting list.
Savage’s lawyers are arguing that since he came to this country at a very young age, he did not understand the circumstances of his immigration. They will likely use his VISA application as proof that he wanted to ensure his legality.
Savage’s arrest has sparked outrage amongst many people, including celebrities. “The arrest and detention of 21 Savage is an absolute travesty, his U visa petition has been pending for 4 years,” said rapper Jay Z through the Twitter account of his entertainment company, Roc Nation.
Many people also claim that his arrest is further evidence that ICE should be abolished. Recently, ICE has been under heavy scrutiny for their aggressive deportation methods and policies.
As of right now, Savage’s next court date is set to April 11th, 2019. He is also the father to three kids: two sons and a daughter.