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Rapper 21 Savage Faces Deportation

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Rapper 21 Savage Faces Deportation

Kashish Khanna, staff writer

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Reports have recently emerged claiming that rapper Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, better known as 21 Savage, is not a U.S citizen and was detained by ICE on Feb. 3.  He has since been released and is waiting on the verdict of his immigration status. According to ICE, he was actually born in the United Kingdom and has overstayed his visa. Abraham-Joseph later clarified these claims, via his attorneys, to be true.

 

Since then, Abraham-Joseph’s lawyer, Charles Kuck, has released a public statement claiming that the rapper was arrested based on false information. Kuck also claims that Abraham-Joseph’s immigration status is no fault of his own, as his parents had overstayed their work visa while he was still a minor. As of now, ICE still holds Abraham-Joseph in custody in Georgia, where he awaits the decision of a federal immigration judge. It is possible that he may face deportation.

 

One of the biggest reasons why this was such a big deal was due to the fact that Abraham-Joseph has repeatedly, publicly claimed to have been born in Atlanta, Georgia. In his music, he has mentioned being thankful for his background several times.

 

In 2017, the rapper filed for a U Nonimmigrant Status (U-visa) after being involved in a shooting where his friend died. A U-visa is for victims of crimes who have suffered from mental or physical trauma. Applicants must be willing to help any authorities to investigate the crime. Kuck claims that ICE is trying to intimidate Abraham-Joseph while he waits for his visa.

 

His lawyers also brought light to the fact that just days before his arrest, Abraham-Joseph released a modified version of his hit song “A Lot.” The new lyrics of this song condemn the humanitarian crises on the southern U.S border as well as the U.S officials who separated immigrant families at the border.

 

Many celebrities, fans, and other influential members of society have publically come out to support the rapper and even advocate for his release. For example, congressman Hank Johnson of Atlanta reiterates what social media claims on his interview with NPR. Johnson claims that “a racist ICE agenda out there is being perpetrated.” Johnson goes on to describe Abraham-Joseph as a philanthropic member of society who has been wronged.

 

Understandably, many fans were stunned when news of this first broke out. Although they may not have felt personally affected, social media allowed for an outpour of support, which led to almost everyone, including people who don’t really listen to rap music, finding out about about this incident.

 

His lawyers also brought light to the fact that just days before his arrest, Abraham-Joseph released a modified version of his hit song “A Lot.” The new lyrics of this song condemn the humanitarian crises on the southern U.S border as well as the U.S officials who separated immigrant families at the border.

 

 

“I was surprised, but I didn’t really care that much,” sophomore Ellie Nystrom said. “I think I wasn’t as affected because I don’t listen to a lot of his music, but it’s interesting how his story played out.”

 

On the other side of the spectrum, junior Kevin Kumar is a big fan of the artist.

 

“His music is just something that I have always enjoyed listening to. It puts me in a good mood because it’s upbeat,” he said. “I love 21 Savage because not only is he a good artist, but he also has given back to the community on multiple occasions. He has always tried to help his community.”

 

Writer Donna-Claire Chesman for DJ Booth said similar things as well. On the topic of Abraham-Joseph’s philanthropic work for the city of Atlanta, she thought it was more than fair to consider him as a citizen of the city, regardless of the fact that he was not born there.

 

“I absolutely believe that all the work 21 Savage did for his community qualifies him as a citizen of the community. Atlanta is all 21 knows, and for good reason as he was brought there as a child,” Chesman said. “Being born in another country does not take away the work he has done and will undoubtedly continue to do for his city.”

 

On Jan. 13, it was reported that the rapper has been released from the detainment center on bond and is now waiting for his deportation hearing. It was also reported, according to Buzzfeed News, that the rapper has been granted an expedited deportation hearing. ICE also dropped an “Aggravated Felony” charge against Abraham-Joseph and now attempts to deport him on the basis that he overstayed his visa.

 

There are many questions about Abraham-Joseph, and one of the biggest questions is about why the rapper was dishonest about where he was born. It could be due to the rich black history that Atlanta proudly accepts. Atlanta has been known as the Hip-Hop capital of the country for many years and has been the hometown of many renowned rappers. Abraham-Joseph, when starting out, probably believed that by using the city’s enriched history to his advantage would only help his success. Whatever his reasons, the rapper’s star status led to immense media coverage and a plethora of support from his fans, family, and even the most influential memb

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Rapper 21 Savage Faces Deportation