Fans were shocked when “Atlanta-known” rapper 21 Savage was taken into custody by ICE during Super Bowl weekend and now faces possible deportation back to the UK.
A number of stars and social-justice groups are coming out in support of rapper 21 Savage, who was detained by agents from ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on Sunday.
The British-born, Atlanta-based musician, whose real name is Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, faces deportation proceedings because he overstayed his visa as a youth.
21 Savage’s cause has even united feuding rappers Nicki Minaj and Cardi B.
Both women came to his defense after conservative commentator Tomi Lahren taunted him about his arrest, tweeting, “I got one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight ICE agents ready to deport ya.”
“Your obsession w/our culture is scary to say the least,” Minaj told Lahren Monday in a NSFW tweet. “I hate giving you the attention you so desperately crave. Laughing @ ppl getting deported as if your ancestors discovered America. Are you Native American?”
In her response to Minaj, Lahren wrote, “When you’re in the country illegally, you get deported. I didn’t write the law and neither did ICE. They enforce it.”
That said, she added, “I hope @21savage is able to get an entertainment visa or become a citizen one day.”
Lahren sounded more conciliatory in a subsequent tweet to Cardi B: “Here’s something maybe we can agree on: our immigration system is broken. We need to keep our country safe while also making sure people who work hard, contribute and don’t leech off the system are able to LEGALLY immigrate here.”
She concluded by telling Cardi B, “I’m a fan of @21savage and I’m a fan of yours.”
Lahren wasn’t the only one getting called out for her reaction to 21 Savage’s predicament.
Singer/actress Demi Lovato deactivated her Twitter account Sunday amid backlash over a tweet that read, “So far 21 savage memes have been my favorite part of the Super Bowl.” She later clarified that she was laughing at memes, “not the fact that anyone is getting deported.”
Other stars joining the #Free21Savage” movement include fellow rapper Meek Mill, who has become a champion for criminal justice reform – specifically with regards to probation – after he was sent back to prison for five months in 2017 because of a parole violation.
Fellow Atlanta rapper T.I. vouched for 21 Savage personally in an NSFW Instagram post.
“I witnessed his growth personally from his first video ever until now,” wrote T.I. “His commitment to change should be acknowledged and supported. I can’t just sit back and watch unnecessary punishment be cast down to one of OUR TREASURES.”
“Anyone who been down before know exactly how much this (expletive) ain’t no joking matter,” said the rapper, who has also served prison time. “We love ya and repping for ya all ways possible til you raise UP!!! “
21 Savage’s case has also inspired a petition on OrganizeFor.org, which has garnered over 126,000 signatures.
“The circumstances of Mr. Abraham-Joseph’s detention stand as a testament to the consistent and historically under-reported harassment and targeting of Black immigrants,” the petition reads. “The U.S.’ violent history of criminalizing Blackness intersects with its deadly legacy of detaining and deporting Black and Brown immigrants. This needs to stop today!”
It continues, “There are around 4.2 Million Black immigrants in the U.S.– 619,000 are undocumented. Mr. Abraham-Joseph has been in the United States since he was a young child. Atlanta is his home. He has no current or prior criminal convictions and he is beloved by his friends, fans and family. It is shameful that he and so many Black immigrants are separated from their families on a daily basis as part of the U.S.’s heartless and racist immigration policies.”
21 Savage’s attorney: ICE is trying to intimidate rapper into not fighting his deportation
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