Detainment of Rapper 21 Savage by ICE

Hello, this is Anna, a part-time employee at IMS.

Today, I wanted to share story that made considerable news in the US regarding immigration visas, and how it serves as an anecdote about immigration affairs in the United States.

The story centers around a rapper known as 21 Savage (whose real name is Shaya Abin Abraham-Joseph); he is known as an Atlanta-based rapper, whose debut studio album reached #2 on the Billboard 200 (with a single from the album reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100). He also reached the #1 single spot with a feature on Post Malone’s song “Rockstar”, which was nominated for two categories at the Grammy Awards.


21 Savage was detained on February 3rd  by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), who presented he was living in the United States illegally. As it turns out, 21 Savage was originally born in the United Kingdom and moved to the States with his parents when he was 7 years old. His parents did not reapply for his visa and he has remained in the United States ever since.

In response, many celebrities came together and spoke out against the unfair treatment of 21 Savage and other immigrants who face deportation via a video on Mic ( here ). His arrest came as a surprise to many, including his fans and 21 Savage himself, since the rapper was in fact in the process of renewing his U visa petition, though at the time it had been pending for 4 years. 

This case is only one example of how unforgiving the system is against a person who has been living in the country for almost 2 decades. The rapper was targeted and arrested via ICE, and 10 days later, he was released after posting bail. This means he missed his opportunity to perform at the Grammy Awards on February 10th, which he was scheduled to do with Post Malone.

This story, which highlights a UK citizen overstaying their dependent visa, calls into question the efficacy of this debate in general. ICE is cracking down on people in the United States illegally no matter what, even if it is a Grammy-nominated artist.


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