Rapper 21 Savage is speaking out after his detainment earlier this month regarding his citizenship.
On Friday morning, the "A Lot" artist sat down for an exclusive interview with Good Morning America since U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested the rapper on February 3. As Blavity previously reported, the 26-year-old was facing possible deportation for staying in the States years past his visa expiration.
The artist who emigrated to the United States from the United Kingdom in 2005 says he was driving when police stopped him.
"I was just driving. And I just seen guns and blue lights. And, then, I was in the back of a car. And I was gone," he said before saying he was not told why he was under arrest. "No. They didn't -- they didn't say nothing. They just said, 'We got Savage.'"
"They said 'We got Savage'" @21Savage tells @LinseyDavis he believes his arrest was targeted when he was pulled over in Atlanta says before the Super Bowl. https://t.co/8XGtNj5gS2 pic.twitter.com/yKREn5GyQ7— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 15, 2019
The arrest brings into question immigration policies meant to protect many young undocumented immigrants including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. It also sheds further light on President Donald Trump's historic government shutdown to secure funds to build a U.S-Mexico border wall.
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Savage, whose birth name is She'yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, says he came to the U.S. with his mother and brothers when he was 7 years old. He explained his lawyers believe he was targeted, and he understands why they feel this way. The Atlanta resident left the U.S. in 2005 for his uncle's funeral before returning the same year.
"I ain't know what a visa was. I knew I wasn't born here. I didn't know what that meant as I transitioned into adult [adulthood], how that was going to affect my life," he continued. "I wasn't hiding it, but I didn't want to get deported. So I wasn't about to be like 'hey by the way I wasn't born here' to the world."
The father of three children applied to become a permanent resident in 2017. While he is concerned he may face deportation, his lawyer, Dena LaPolt, says they are going through the process of trying to secure his citizenship status.
"I've been here 20 years, 19 years. This is all I know. I don't feel like you should be arrested and put in a place a murderer would be just for being in a country for too long," he said.
"I've been here 20 years. This is all I know." @21Savage says he doesn't believe people should be placed in jail for being in the country too long. Now, he says he wants to bring awareness to immigration policies and the "pain" they are causing people. pic.twitter.com/apstaY2RZI— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 15, 2019
He concluded by sharing his empathy for others who have been detained by ICE and that he would do everything possible to bring awareness.
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