Photo courtesy of Rollingstone.com | Atlanta-based rapper and Grammy nominee 21 Savage was banned from entering the U.S. and was held in ICE custody until he was granted an immigration bond on Tuesday. Many rappers, including Jay Z and Post Malone, showed 21 Savage support at the Grammy Awards ceremony.
Rapper 21 Savage, real name She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Sunday Feb. 3. ICE has claimed that he was born in the United Kingdom and has overstayed a short-term visa in the U. S. He was granted a bond for release on Tuesday but may still face deportation.
21 Savage entered the U.S. in 2005 when he was just 12, but he stayed after his visa expired in July of 2006. His lawyers said he has been in the U. S. longer than that, since he was seven years old.
21 Savage had previously been convicted of felony drug charges in 2014, which occurred in his alleged home state of Georgia. Shockingly, his deportation did not surface until almost 5 years later. Some are questioning why his immigration status was not addressed sooner.
21 Savage came out with three albums in the last few years. i am > i was came out in 2018, and in 2017 Issa Album was released. He also collaborated on a song with Metro Boomin and Offset called “Without Warning.” In the past, he has also come out with mixtapes and EPs and been featured on numerous singles.
In 2018 he won “Top Rap Song” at the Billboard Music Awards and “Song of the Year” at the MTV Video Music Awards for the song “Better Now” with Post Malone. He was nominated for Record of the Year and Best Rap Performance at the 2019 Grammy Awards. Due to his arrest, he had to sit out of the Grammy’s this year. Jay-Z has decided to hire a lawyer for 21 Savage after saying his arrest is “an absolute travesty”.
ICE has been under some serious scrutiny recently. As part of his campaign, President Donald Trump has called for a wall to be created at the U.S.-Mexican border. The recent government shutdown was due to Trump not receiving bipartisan support for the wall. It was the longest government shutdown in history, lasting 35 days. On Saturday Feb. 9, ICE arrested 290 illegal migrants near a remote area of New Mexico. Many migrants want to be apprehended because once brought to the Border Patrol Station, they will be considered for asylum.
Having been in the U.S. for more than 10 years, 21 Savage may qualify for a type of humanitarian defense called “Cancellation of Removal.” However, it won’t be valid if he is convicted of any drug-related crimes. He is now awaiting the opportunity to plead his case before a federal judge.
By: Gillen Faenza | Staff Writer