Atlanta rapper 21 Savage continues to ramp up awareness of the United States’ immigration policy as it pertains to children who migrated to the country and overstayed their visas. According to the Associated Press, the “Bank Account” artist expressed his belief during the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) ceremony on Thursday (Oct. 3) where he received an award.
“When you’re a child, you don’t know what’s going on. Now, you grow up and got to figure it out,” he said. “Can’t get a job. Can’t get a license. I’m one of the lucky ones who became successful. It’s a lot of people who can’t.” At age seven, 21 Savage migrated to the U.S. from London with his mother and siblings. In 2006, the visa expired and while he applied for a U Visa, it was never approved. Since 2017, the country’s immigration department was aware of Savage, born She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph’s status. In February 2019, he was arrested and detained for 10 days in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility before his release pending trial.
Savage continued to state that as a youth he was never aware of the proper paperwork needed to be deemed a legal citizen. “I just knew we were moving to a new place,” he continued. As a result, he believes other children in his past situation should automatically be granted citizenship.
“I feel like kids who were brought here at young ages, they should automatically be like ‘Yeah, you good to stay here, work and go to college.’ It should be nipped in the bud before it gets to a point before you come of age,” the 26-year-old said. Reports of the conditions children are encountering inside Border Patrol facilities have outlined stories of inhumane conditions and neglect, per The New Yorker.
21 Savage’s immigration case is still pending.