It has been reported that rapper 21 Savage was taken into custody by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Atlanta this past Super Bowl Sunday morning.
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested unlawfully present United Kingdom national Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph AKA ’21 Savage’ during a targeted operation with federal and local law enforcement partners early Sunday in metro Atlanta,” ICE spokesman Brian Cox explained to the AJC. “Mr. Abraham-Joseph was taken into ICE custody as he is unlawfully present in the U.S. and also a convicted felon.” Savage was convicted of felony drug charges in 2014 in Fulton County, Georgia.
Cox’s statement went on, “Mr. Abraham-Joseph initially entered the U.S. legally in July 2005, but subsequently failed to depart under the terms of his nonimmigrant visa and he became unlawfully present in the U.S. when his visa expired in July 2006. In addition to being in violation of federal immigration law, Mr. Abraham-Joseph was convicted on felony drug charges in October 2014 in Fulton County, Georgia.”
Fox News reports, “According to The Atlanta Journal-Consitution, the 26-year-old ‘Bank Account’ MC performed in Atlanta on Thursday and has held numerous fundraising events for underprivileged youth in Atlanta, which he’s reportedly considered his hometown for years.”
The arrest was met with baffled reactions online, as the rapper has long been associated with Atlanta and performed with local rappers T.I., Migos, Lil Yachty and Ludacris at an A-town-heavy concert in the city on Thursday during the run-up to today’s Super Bowl. However, Cox told the AJC that Savage, 26, is an “unlawfully present United Kingdom national” who legally entered the U.S. in July 2005 on a visa that expired a year later, Cox said.
The rapper has been nominated for two 2019 Grammy Awards in 2019 for working on Post Malone’s “Rockstar.”
21 Savage’s lawyer, Dina LaPolt, spoke to Variety saying, “We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with authorities to clear up any misunderstanding. Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in the country — especially in Atlanta, Georgia and is actively working in the community leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy.”
This is a developing story. We will provide new details as they become available.