21 Savage may be hip-deep in his own fight against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but it looks like that won’t stop him from trying to help out others in a similar predicament. The London-born, Atlanta-based trap star recently donated $25,000 to the Southern Poverty Law Center to help detained immigrants gain access to legal representation. With the current administration kicking detainment and deportation efforts into high gear over the last two years, his donation comes at a critical time, given that many of those detained just happen to be children who have little control or understanding of the political circumstances they’re in — just like him.
In a statement, immigration law attorney Charles H. Kuck said, “21 Savage is making this donation public because everyday Americans need to know that ICE is using civil immigration detention as a weapon against immigrants, many of whom, like 21 Savage, have relief from deportation and are able to fix their immigration status.” Kuck went on to explain how the conditions at detainment centers can feel oppressive and restrictive, demoralizing immigrants out of fighting for their rights to freedom and legal immigration.
“Creating oppressively adverse conditions of detention, like those in Irwin County, Georgia, far away from family and legal counsel, causes despair and hopelessness, and forces these men and women to give up on their immigration claims. The SPLC, through its Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative (SIFI) stands at the front line of this fight and supporting this effort lets all Americans know that the Constitution which protects the least of us, protects all of us.”
21 knows those conditions all too well. In February of this year, he was arrested and detained for overstaying his visa from when he originally immigrated to the US as a teen. The terms of the arrest cited a prior conviction that should have been expunged, and he was already applying for an updated visa as well. Some consider the timing suspicious, as he’d just released a new song speaking out against the immigration crisis and performed it at a high-profile venue, making it seem as though the arrest was retaliatory. He continues to fight for his right to stay in the US in order to take care of his kids.