Grammy-nominated rapper 21 Savage was arrested by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Sunday in Atlanta for allegedly overstaying his U.S. visa, an ICE spokesperson said.
According to CNN, ICE said that Shayaabin Abraham-Joseph, who goes by his stage name 21 Savage, is a citizen of the UK and is currently in the U.S. illegally. Abraham-Joseph allegedly entered the country legally in 2005 while he was still a minor, however, his visa expired in 2006, the agency reports. In 2014, he was convicted on felony drug charges in Georgia.
“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. “ICE will now await the outcome of his case before a federal immigration judge to determine future actions.”
Dina LaPolt, Abraham-Joseph’s lawyer, noted that his representatives are working to get the rapper “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,” LaPolt said.
The rapper has been nominated for two awards at the Grammys next week: Record of The Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance for “Rockstar” with Post Malone. Over the past year, 21 Savage released the album Not All Heroes Wear Capes with Metro Boomin and Travis Scott, as well as the solo record i am > i was. He is best-known for the track “Bank Account” from 2017’s Issa Album.
21 Savage is due to perform at the University of Florida’s Stephen C. O’Connell Center on February 27. UF’s SPG Music and Entertainment organization released the following statement:
“Student Government Productions and the Black Student Union are surprised to hear the news relating to 21 Savage. We are working with our agents and will post an update once we have more information. We appreciate your patience and understanding.”