Rapper 21 Savage Detained by ICE for illegal US immigration

So-called Hip-Hop artist 21 Savage has recently been arrested by US Immigration Customs Enforcement officials, who say that he immigrated from the United Kingdom but he never left. This is a shocker considering that he often touted himself as a gangster from Atlanta, but this proves that he arrived in the United States at 12-years old from Newham, East London.

The 26-year-old Atlanta rapper, real name Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, came to America back in July of 2005 with his mother back when he was a kid, but he failed to leave the country when his visa expired a year later.

A spokesman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said he was living in the US illegally and also is a convicted felon. Somehow it’s not so surprising that ICE would eventually catch up with him, after overstaying his visa by a full fourteen years.

In past interviews, Abraham-Joseph talked about his “childhood” growing up in Atlanta. He also claimed that he was expelled from school in Atlanta when he was 13-years old for bringing a gun to class.

The ICE spokesman said Abraham-Joseph was convicted of drug charges back in 2014, but ICE was not aware of his immigration status at the time, and presumed he was from Atlanta and also a US citizen, which should be seen as a major mistake on their behalf.

The UK Foreign Office told BBC News: “Our staff are in contact with the lawyer of a British man following his detention in the USA.”

Abraham-Joseph’s lawyer, Dina LaPolt also released a statement on the case: “We are working diligently to get Mr Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with authorities to clear up any misunderstanding.”

LaPolt also described the rapper as a “role model” due to his work with financial literacy programs to help underprivileged youths, which should be seen as positive factor. However, overstaying your visa by fourteen years should be seen as big negative fact.

21 Savage is now in some big trouble with ICE and he could be sent back to the United Kingdom very soon. Credit: The Telegraph

Until just recently, fans of Abraham-Joseph truly believed the rapper was from Atlanta due to his thick Georgia accent, as well as his inspiration from his tough upbringing in the state, whilst he promoted his gangster thug image.

It was only discovered that he was an illegal immigrant when Atlanta police arrested his friend and fellow rapper Young Nudy, after stopping the car they were travelling in on Sunday night.

Officers ran the rapper’s date of birth through their system, before he was turned over to ICE who put him in custody pending an immigration hearing before the court.

Abraham-Joseph’s birth certificate shows he was born on October 22nd, 1992 at Newham Hospital in East London to British-born parents Heather Joseph and Kevin Emmons.

“His whole public persona is false” Bryan Cox from ICE stated. “He actually came to the US from the UK as a teen and 0verstayed his visa.”

“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.”

21 Savage with his mother, Heather Joseph, who may or may not have legal US immigration status.  Credit: SOHH

After his arrest, legal representation for Abraham-Joseph stated the rapper will “fight” to remain in the USA. Charles H Kluck stated that the arrest is “based upon incorrect information about prior criminal charges” and that ICE is “refusing to release him on bond of any amount” even though he has a pending U-Visa application with USCIS and that he has “relief from removal available to him.”

Kluck also said the American government has been aware of the rapper’s immigration status, but no legal action was taken against him until this past weekend. This just shows that his recent arrest was the final straw for ICE.

While he says Abraham-Joseph isn’t being charged with any crimes, he describes the case as a “civil law violation” and that the “continued detention of Mr. Abraham-Joseph serves no other purpose than to unnecessarily punish him and try to intimidate him into giving up his right to fight to remain in the United States.”

“Mr. Abraham-Joseph has US citizen children that he supports and is eligible for relief from deportation.” he concludes. “We and he will fight for his release, for his family, and his right to remain in our country. No one would expect less from him.”

So there you have it! Overstaying your visa for that many years, turns you into an illegal immigrant in any country, but this just shows just how many people enter the United States and seemingly never leave, even though, their visa has long since expired.

One of the many memes about 21 Savage that’s currently breaking the Internet. Credit: Instagram

Since his detainment by ICE, the world of social media has been flooded by comical 21 Savage memes, and if anything, if he returns to the United Kingdom, his fans will surely welcome him with open arms and even be celebrated as one of the UK’s very own artists.

But, it remains to be seen what the United Kingdom’s Metropolitan Police and UK Immigration will think of his felony drug charges… Since, when and if Savage 21 is also deported from the USA, the artist could face a 10-year ban on returning to the United States. Ouch! He probably should have entered the United States legally, like everybody else…

But, a curious update suggests that many people believe that multi-coloured rapper Tekashi 69 who’s currently in prison, outed 21 Savage’s real citizenship to authorities in order to reduce his sentencing on numerous federal charges. Could it be true?

Well, what do we make of that conspiracy theory? It’s probably nothing more than just a conspiracy theory, and the main concern is if 21 Savage will actually be saved from deportation back to the United Kingdom. We will keep you updated on this story, as it develops and now for some commentary from Savage Robot, who provides us with some extra light entertainment right below.


Story by Emily Clark

Featured Photo Credit: Dexterto



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