21 Savage, the Bank Account rapper and songwriter was taken into U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) custody on Sunday morning. ICE officials reportedly detained the rapper for being in the United States illegally.
The rapper, whose real name is Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was taken into custody by U.S. officials, with ICE spokesman Brian Cox telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he was an “unlawfully present United Kingdom national.”
Joseph is a British born rapper with Caribbean roots in Dominica and moved to the United States from the UK in 2005. 21 Savage later confirmed that he was born in the UK. According to reports from CBS, Savage was staying in the US on a non-immigrant tourist visa — or Visitor Visa — which expired the year after he moved.
In 2012, 21 was involved in a gun charge which has been cited by ICE officials as part of his removal. The high profile case has put a spotlight on immigration tension in the U.S. The rapper has been held in a detention center pending his rights. ICE officials have commented that the next move may be deportation, charging that the rapper has birth rights in the UK and does not meet the current visa requirements to remain in the United States.
Lawyers for 21 Savage have said that he “never hid his immigration status,” NBC News reports. 21 Savage has made his mark on the hip-hop scene, domestic and worldwide and is considered a rapper from Atlanta in the eyes of loyal fans and supporters. He has been in features with Migos, Ludacris, T.I, Young Jeezy, Lil Uzi vert and recent Super Bowl LIII performer Travis Scott.
Since his debut as a freshman rapper with XXL, 21 savage has had numerous hits. His attorney stated that he is an inspiration to youth in Atlanta and hopes that he could be treated fairly while in U.S. custody.
U.S. officials have been under fire for conditions at detention centers with detained immigrants, some of which require medical care while at detention facilities. Last August, a toddler described as being in perfectly good health fell ill while in a detention facility in Southern Texas. The toddler soon after succumbed to illness and died at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia according to Vice News reporters.
Hospital records revealed that the toddler suffered with pneumonitis — an inflammation of the lungs — before her death and quite possibly before being detained. The death of toddler, Maree Juarez was met with public outcry, as Americans began questioning conditions where immigrants detained in the country were being held before deportation.
The deaths of two Guatemalan children in U.S. government custody also sparked outrage and shed a light on the treatment of immigrants detained by authorities.
Now pursuing legal action against ICE, Yazmin’s lawyers have said that the Dilley facility “failed inexcusably” in caring for both her and her daughter while detained by immigration officials.
President Trump’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday evening leaned heavily on immigration tensions, with the 45th President of the United States delivering his second State of the Union Address to the most diverse Congress in history.
In his State of the Union Address last night, President Trump called for unity in America, but did not mention any of the 5 U.S. territories that have been affected by catastrophic tropical cyclones in the Caribbean and Pacific since 2017.
The President also stayed clear of mentioning FEMA or disaster aid, a topic the White House has pushed back on reports of disproportionate disaster response in places like Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The President also renewed calls for Democratic support for his border wall proposal. The backbone of 21 Savage’s immigration case has moved from a blatant visa infraction, to a civil case of misinformation according to lawyers for the Atlanta rapper.
While the treatment of detained individuals remains clouded in reports from independent newspapers, the federal government has pushed back on claims of mistreatment. Paediatricians have warned that overcrowding can make it difficult for individuals to recover if they are suffering from respiratory issues like the young toddler Juarez was.
Featured images courtesy of Complex and Newsday.