On February 3rd, 21 Savage was arrested and detained in Atlanta, Georgia by Immigration Customs Enforcement after being accused of overstaying his visa. ICE reported that the rapper born She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph was actually from the United Kingdom and came to America with his family as a minor and that he was arrested as part of a “targeted operation.”
21 Savage legally entered the U.S. when he was 7, according to a statement from his team. However, his visa expired in July 2006 and Savage’s lawyers confirmed ICE’s claims that his family overstayed their work visas were true, but noted that 21 Savage was “left without legal status through no fault of his own.” After nine days in custody, 21 was released on bond, but the story as it stands is one of the most bizarre chapters in hip-hop history and unified the more progressive wings of the music community. In the process of this ongoing case, ICE has inadvertently elevated itself beyond the cable news talking heads. Engaging in what can only charitably be described as character assassination in the hours following 21’s arrest, what they’ve actually done is make the case for the complete and total need to abolish the agency.