21 Savage wants undocumented kids living in the United States to get citizenship automatically.
The topic of Immigration is a very touchy subject in the United States and despite his fame, 21 Savage had some very bad experiences with the system earlier this year. For many, it’s a highly debatable topic even more so now under President Trump’s rule. Many have taken a stance against his strict immigration implementation attempts and have dedicated personal time to getting them thrown out. This also includes the Atlanta rapper, who recently received an award from the National Immigration Law Center for his contributions.
21 Savage was detained back in February of this year by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), citing him as an “unlawfully present United Kingdom national.” The “Bank Account” rapper, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was picked up by ICE in what appears to be a targeted operation involving federal and local law enforcement officials in Atlanta. He was taken in due to his immigration status and for being a convicted felon. The rapper entered the United States back in July of 2005 legally, but didn’t returned to the UK when his visa expired. In the days after his arrest, 21 Savage found himself on the verge of deportation, but thankfully some of his celebrity friends and his fans help with his case.
The news of the rapper’s ICE arrest came as a shock to fans who believed he was an Atlanta native. The arrest left the rapper motivated and determined to fight against the strict immigration laws of the country surrounding undocumented immigrants. He has even donated funds to assist detainees in hiring lawyers. On October 3rd, the rapper was honored for his immigration efforts. He was presented with the Courageous Luminary award from the National Immigration Law Center. Before the ceremony began, the rapper made use of the opportunity to advocate for the rights of undocumented children.
“When you’re a child, you don’t know what’s going on,” 21 Savage told the Associates Press. “Now, you grow up and got to figure it out. Can’t get a job. Can’t get a license. I’m one of the lucky ones who became successful. It’s a lot of people who can’t.”
He went on to elaborate that kids innocently accompany their parents to America and are unaware of what it entails. He explained that that is what happened in his case when he relocated to the States as a child, not having a clue about what a visa was.
“When you ain’t got no choice, you should be exempt,” he stated. “It’s not like I was 30, woke up, and moved over here. I’ve been here since I was like 7 or 8, probably younger than that. I didn’t know anything about visas and all that. I just knew we were moving to a new place.”
Savage added, “I feel like we should be exempt. I feel like we should automatically become citizens.”
A lot of his fans share his sentiments, and it’s great that he is bringing awareness to the issue in hopes of effecting change.
A celebration tonight at our Courageous Luminaries event recognizing some amazing advocates and organizations in the immigrant justice movement, including @21savage. Thank you @OsopePatrisse and the activists and advocates who spent their night standing for immigrants! pic.twitter.com/V5je8mmNmu
— NILC Immigrant Justice Fund (@NILCJusticeFund) October 4, 2019