Why Was 21 Savage Arrested? New Details About The Claim That He’s From The U.K.

He could be deported.

Why Was 21 Savage Arrested? New Details About The Claim That He’s From The U.K. Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock.com

Rapper 21 Savage was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for allegedly overstaying his visa. He is actually from the U.K., the agency claims.

The 26-year-old rapper, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, is in ICE custody after he was arrested in Atlanta Sunday in a "targetted operation" involving both local and federal law enforcement, according to the Associated Press


“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 told TMZ. "Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in the country — especially in Atlanta, Georgia, and is actively working in the community leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy."



21 Savage, who has frequently rapped about his Atlanta upbringing and has long been considered a local Atlanta rapper, entered the U.S. legally in 2005 but has overstayed his Visa, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan Cox said in an emailed statement to the Washington Post.

“Mr. Abraham-Joseph initially entered the U.S. legally in July 2005, but subsequently failed to depart under the terms of his nonimmigrant visa and he became unlawfully present in the U.S. when his visa expired in July 2006,” Cox said in the statement. 

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An ICE spokesperson reportedly told CNN correspondent Nick Valencia that 21 Savage's "whole public persona is false."

"He actually came to the U.S. from the U.K. as a teen and overstayed his visa,” the spokesperson reportedly added. The Grammy-nominated rapper faces deportation.

"Mr. Abraham-Joseph is presently in ICE custody in Georgia and has been placed into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts," ICE said in a statement to CNN. "ICE will now await the outcome of his case before a federal immigration judge to determine future actions."

21 Savage's Attorney Charles H. Kuck claimed he applied for a U-Visa and the application is pending, TMZ reported. ICE is trying to "unnecessarily punish him" as he waits for the application to be approved. Although the agency has known about his Visa status, they waited to take action against 21 Savage until now. Kuck said ICE is trying "to intimidate him into giving up his right to fight to remain in the United States."


Some reports claim 21 Savage is from the Caribbean island of Dominica, a British territory.

21 Savage entered the rap scene in 2015 and has since hit the top of the charts with his single "Bank Account" and his features on other hits like Drake's "Sneakin'," Cardi B's "Bartier Cardi," and Post Malone's "Rockstar." His latest album, I Am > I Was, landed him his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in December.

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He is nominated for two Grammy's in the upcoming Grammy Awards on Sunday.

The Internet was quick to react to 21 Savage's arrest.


Many took to social media to bash ICE, claiming the rapper's arrest is fraudulent.

Others decided creating memes was the best way to react to the rapper's ICE detainment, making light of 21 Savage's situation.


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Sarah Gangraw writes about all things news, entertainment and crime. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.