Rapper 21 Savage Arrested By US Immigration Who Claim He's Actually British
US Immigration authorities have arrested the rapper, claiming he's overstayed a visa issued in 2005.
The Grammy-nominated rapper (he's up for two awards next week) was taken into federal custody by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers in Atlanta, with authorities saying that Savage -- real name Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph -- is actually from the UK and has been living in the US illegally.
ICE spokesman Bryan Cox said the rapper was taken into custody as part of a “targeted operation” after he overstayed a visa that expired in 2005.
"Mr Abraham-Joseph is presently in ICE custody in Georgia and has been placed into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts,” Cox said. “ICE will now await the outcome of his case before a federal immigration judge to determine future actions.”
The arrest comes as a shock to fans, who were under the impression that the 26-year-old was raised in Atlanta as he often rapped about his upbringing, even saying he was “straight up out the 6” in his song “Bank Account,” referring to Atlanta’s Zone 6.
“His whole public persona is false,” Cox added in an interview with CNN.
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Savage is reportedly now facing deportation proceedings and will appear in front of a federal judge.
“We are working diligently to get Mr Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with the authorities to clear up any misunderstandings,” his lawyer Dina LaPolt said in a statement on Sunday.
"Mr Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in this country, especially in Atlanta, ”LaPolt said, adding that Mr Abraham-Joseph is “actively working in the community leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy.”
In a 2016 interview with YouTube channel VladTV, the artist was asked where he grew up, with the rapper saying he was raised in various neighbourhoods in Atlanta.
“I grew up on the East Side, Glenwood, Decatur,” Mr. Abraham-Joseph says. “I done grew up in all Atlanta really, everybody know me. If you don’t, you ain’t from this city.”
Main Image: Getty Images.