21 Savage arrest: Everything we know after rapper detained by ICE

21 Savage was taken into custody by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Atlanta on Sunday 3 February, in a 'targeted operation'

Rapper 21 Savage arrested in US due to being UK citizen

21 Savage’s arrest has caused shockwaves and confusion after claims that the rapper is actually from the UK.

Savage, born Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, has previously described a childhood in Atlanta during interviews but, according to officials, came to the US in July 2005, aged 12, and failed to leave when his visa expired a year later.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesman said Savage is being held for removal proceedings.

Here’s what we know so far:

21 Savage was taken into custody by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Atlanta on Sunday, 3 February, in a “targeted operation”.

The ICE claims that the 26-year-old is a UK national who came to the US when he was 12, on a one-year visa, in July 2005.

A CNN reporter quoted a spokesman as saying: “His whole public persona is false. He actually came to the US from the UK as a teen and overstayed his visa.”

Savage reportedly “failed to depart under the terms of his nonimmigrant visa and he became unlawfully present in the US when his visa expired in July 2006.”

The spokesman added: “Mr Abraham-Joseph was taken into ICE custory as he is unlawfully present in the US and also a convicted felon,” in reference to the rapper’s conviction on drug charges in 2014.

21 Savage has long-stated he is from Atlanta and described having a rough childhood. He said he first saw a gun when he was eight years old, but did not specify where that incident took place. He was also quoted, in the same interview with Fader, as being expelled from school aged about 12 or 13 for taking a gun to class.

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In a statement to Rolling Stone, his lawyer Dina LaPolt said: “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 programmes to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy.”

21 Savage released his commercially and critically successful debut, Issa Album, in 2017, and followed up with I am > I was, which went to the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart last year.

He is considered to be one of the greatest rappers from Atlanta, a city widely regarded to be the centre of modern hip hop in the US, and has been praised for music that is mature, introspective, and full of stories about the world in which he inhabits.

He is nominated for two awards at the 2019 Grammys, which take place on 10 February, including for Record of the Year for “Rockstar” with Post Malone.

Officials are waiting for a judge’s ruling before deciding how to proceed. A UK foreign office spokesperson said staff are in contact with “the lawyer of a British man following his detention in the US”.

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