On Tuesday, 21 Savage was released from an ICE detention center. The rapper had been arrested nine days prior in Atlanta and placed in the custody U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after it was discovered that the 26-year-old had arrived in the U.S. as a seven-year-old and illegally overstayed his Visa. Savage must now await a deportation hearing at immigration court.
Over the course of the nine days that the rapper was held in the federal agency’s custody, there was much debate about the legal grounds upon which ICE continued to detain him. In 2014, 21 Savage was convicted of felony drug charges, but as members of the rapper’s legal team have since stated publicly, those charges were later vacated. According to Buzzfeed, the U.S. government attorneys representing ICE had originally intended to charge the rapper with an “aggravated felony” charge. However, if what Savage’s legal team claim is true, that charge would have to be thrown out.
It now appears the U.S. government attorneys representing ICE are now attempting to deport the rapper on the grounds that he simply overstayed his visa as a child. According to 21 Savage’s legal team, the rapper applied for a U-Visa — which provides a pathway to legal immigration status for individuals who are victims of crime and helps law enforcement — in 2017.
Following his release on Tuesday, 21 Savage released a statement through his legal team, saying “[he] is grateful for the support from around the world and is more than ever, ready to be with his loved ones and continue making music that brings people together.”