Rapper 21 Savage, born Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, has been arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Atlanta, Georgia. According to ICE spokesman Bryan Cox, the rap star is an “unlawfully present United Kingdom national” and is set to be deported.
It was reportedly a targeted operation.
“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,” Cox said in a statement.
“Mr. Abraham-Joseph was taken into ICE custody as he is unlawfully present in the U.S. and also a convicted felon.”
21 Savage is alleged to have entered the United States legally in 2005, but overstayed his non-immigrant visa after it expired. It was previously reported that 21 moved to DeKalb County, Georgia in July 2005, but it was never clear where he came to the Atlanta area from.
The I Am > I Was rapper’s attorney told TMZ that this is all a misunderstanding and they are working to get 21 Savage out of ICE custody.
“We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with authorities to clear up any misunderstanding,” his attorney Dina LaPolt said.
“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.”
ICE added that 21 Savage is currently awaiting a decision from federal court about his removal.
“Mr. Abraham-Joseph is presently in ICE custody in Georgia and has been placed into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts. ICE will now await the outcome of his case before a federal immigration judge to determine future actions,” the spokesman added.
21 Savage has cited his harsh upbringing in Atlanta and has carried a gang-banging persona throughout his career. However, ICE is also calling that into question.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.