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21 Savage Says His ICE Arrest Was ‘Definitely Targeted’

Atlanta rapper opened up about his immigration status and experience in an ICE detention center on ‘Good Morning America’

21 Savage15th Annual CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Awards, Arrivals, New York, USA - 05 Nov 2018

21 Savage

Andrew H. Walker/REX/Shutterstock

Three days after 21 Savage was released on bond from one of the worst ICE detention centers in the country, he sat down for his first interview. During a brief conversation on Good Morning America, Savage (real name She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph) admitted that he felt his arrest “was definitely targeted.”

“I don’t think the policy is broken. I feel like the way that they enforce the policy is broken,” Abraham-Joseph said.

He described what he witnessed during the arrest. “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.” According to Abraham-Joseph, the authorities didn’t reveal why he was being apprehended, “They didn’t say nothing. They just said, ‘We got Savage.'”

Abraham-Joseph was arrested by ICE on Super Bowl Sunday. Bryan Cox, a spokesperson for the organization, made sure to mention in a statement to CNN’s Nick Valencia that the rapper’s “whole public persona is false.” Later in the interview, Abraham-Joseph delved into his early childhood. He knew he was born in England, but explains that he didn’t understand how his immigration status would affect him later in life.

“I didn’t know what a visa was. I was seven when first I came here. I knew I wasn’t born here, but I didn’t know what that meant as far as when I transitioned into an adult, how it was going to affect my life. I wasn’t hiding it, but it’s like I didn’t want to get deported. So I’m not finna just come out and be like, ‘Hey, by the way, I wasn’t born here, world.'”

Alex Spiro, one of the lawyers brought in my Jay-Z, later explained that the case is “troubling” and described the various reasons why Abraham-Joseph was targeted.

“We believe honestly that he was targeted of course, like they said. Part of the reason we think is because he’s both a celebrity and they can use this to send a message and also perhaps, because of his music.”

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