Rapper 21 Savage Arrested by ICE Agents in Atlanta, May Be Deported

Rapper’s attorney, Dina LaPolt, tells TheWrap she’s working “diligently” to get him out of detention

Last Updated: February 12, 2019 @ 1:24 PM

Rapper 21 Savage was arrested in Atlanta on Sunday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Sunday.

His attorney, Dina LaPolt, told TheWrap she’s working “diligently” to get the rapper, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, out of detention while she cleared up any “misunderstanding.” She would not comment any further.

ICE did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday. A spokesperson for the agency, Bryan Cox, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the rapper was arrested in a “targeted operation” in metro Atlanta.

“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.”

ICE said the rapper is a citizen of the United Kingdom and entered the country legally in July 2005, when he was a minor, and did not return to England when his visa expired.

The agency also said the rapper had been convicted of felony drug charges in 2014 in Fulton County.

Savage features on the song “Rockstar” by Post Malone, which was nominated for Record of the Year and Best Rap Performance at the Grammys.

ICE’s statement that Savage is British came as a surprise to many of his fans, as he’d long been associated with the Atlanta music scene. He’s said in interviews that his name “21” is a reference to a street gang in Decatur, a city northeast of Atlanta.

The rapper is nominated for two Grammy Awards this year for his work on Post Malone’s song “Rockstar.”


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