Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph has become a symbol of the immigration debate in America. The rapper known as 21 Savage was detained by ICE for overstaying his visa, and he is in danger of being deported to the United Kingdom.
After nine days, 21 was finally released on $100,000 bond from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. The rhymer then sat down with Good Morning America to discuss his immigration status and arrest.”I was just driving, and I just seen guns and blue lights. Then, I was in the back of a car and I was gone,” 21 recalled. “They didn’t say nothing. They just said, ‘We got Savage’… It was definitely targeted.”
The England-born, Atlanta-raised entertainer came to America when he was seven years old. He apparently filed to become a legal permanent resident of the United States in 2017. 21 admitted he’s still concerned that he could be removed from the country.
“I’ve been here 20 years, 19 years. This is all I know,” said Savage. “I don’t feel you should be arrested and put in a place where a murderer would be for just being in the country for too long.”
The 26-year-old father of three stated, “I’ve been through so much in my life, I’ve learned to embrace the times when I’m down because they always build me up.”
When asked what is his message to the individuals still in immigration detention, 21 offered, “I feel your pain, and I’m gonna do everything in my power to try and bring awareness to your pain.”
Some people have speculated that Abraham-Joseph was marked by ICE because his lyrics on “a lot” were critical of the federal policy that separated children of undocumented immigrants from their parents at the US-Mexico border. Savage would not express he believes his words led to his incarceration. However, his attorney, Alex Spiro, is not completely against that possibility.
“We believe, honestly, that he was targeted. Part of the reason, we think, is because he’s both a celebrity, and they can use this as a way to send a message, and also perhaps because of his music,” said Spiro.
The lawyer added, “He’s certainly vulnerable [to deportation], but we’re confident, and his fans should be confident, he’ll be able to remain here and we’re hoping that will give some hope to everybody else that fights these issues.”
VIA ABC NEWS