21 Savage ICE Arrest is More Serious Than We Realize

Faith Ward, Writer

On February 3, Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, more widely known as 21 Savage, was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being denied bail.

21 Savage was brought from the United Kingdom by his parents when he was seven years old. This makes him similar to a Dreamer, better known as a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient. In 2005, at age 12, he left to the United Kingdom for about a month and returned with a temporary Visa. In 2006, his visa expired, making him an undocumented immigrant.

He has had his U-visa pending for over four years now. The U-visa he has applied for is to protect victims of crime because he survived a shooting in 2013 on his birthday.

ICE has tried to justify their arrest by stating that 21 Savage was convicted of a drug felon in 2014. This case was expunged last year, so how does this make any sense? It doesn’t.

ICE also claims that 21 Savage’s “whole public persona is false,” referencing that he raps about originating from Atlanta, which is technically true. He was so young when he moved from the UK that he most likely does not remember much of living there. His home is in the United States.

Several days before his arrest, he performed on The Tonight Show, rapping his hit song “A lot.” Some of the lyrics of the song include: “Been through some things, but I can’t imagine my kids stuck at the border/ Flint still needs water/ People was innocent, couldn’t get lawyers”

Many are connecting this to his arrest. Why was he not arrested by ICE when he was convicted of a felony? Why now? This has to be targeting. He has not been charged with any crime since 2014, and now all of a sudden after mentioning the border wall, he has been detained.

Undocumented immigrants are taken into custody every day, for no reason except for them “being in the wrong country”. The United States was built on immigration, and our denial of people trying to find a home and a place to belong is inhumane. Most immigrants are trying to provide for their family, not cause chaos.

21 Savage is as much of a citizen as those that are born in America. He is just trying to create music, take care of his kids, and live his life, like the rest of Americans. This is where he built his career and this is where most of the people he loves are. Why deport him? He is not causing problems, unless celebrity drama is a big enough deal to kick someone out of the country.

21 Savage’s arrest is unacceptable, and knowing that he is not the only one that has to deal with this is heartbreaking. He is one of the rare cases that is receiving a ton of attention. What about the everyday people that are having to face this on their own? We need to stop trying to ban people from our country just because they happen to be born in another one.