Some Twitter users raised an eyebrow about the timing involved in the immigration arrest of rapper 21 Savage.
The Grammy-nominated rapper raised the issue of immigration during his performance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” days before U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested him in Atlanta on Sunday.
Immigration is a core policy issue of the Trump administration.
ICE said that 21 Savage, whose real name is Shayaabin Abraham-Joseph, is a United Kingdom citizen who entered the US legally in July 2005 as a minor, CNN reported. He failed to leave this country under the terms of his nonimmigrant visa. Consequently, his presence in the U.S. has been unlawful since his visa expired in July 2006.
“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,” an ICE statement said.
The 26-year-old performed his latest single, “A Lot,” on the late night talk show on Jan. 28. He added new lyrics at the end of the song to mention the Flint water crisis and criticize Trump’s policy of separating migrant children from parents at the border with Mexico.
Abraham-Joseph was convicted in 2014 in Georgia on felony drug charges, the authorities noted. He was arrested Sunday in a targeted sting.
The rapper’s attorneys said they were working to get him released.
“We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with the authorities to clear up any misunderstandings. Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in this country, especially in Atlanta, Georgia, and is actively working in the community leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy,” Dina LaPolt said in a statement to CNN.
Many of the rapper’s fans were surprised to learn that he is a U.K. citizen because of his close association with Atlanta.
His debut album, “Issa Album,” was released in 2017 and reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Following the album “Without Warning,” a collaboration with Offset and Metro Boomin, and his feature on the Hot 100 No. 1 song “Rockstar,” 21 Savage released his sophomore album, “I Am > I Was,” which reached No. 1.