If there’s one thing that 21 Savage can count on it’s support from the outside world. As the 26-year-old “A Lot” rapper sits locked in a cell while his immigration issues get worked out, he’s reportedly finding comfort in all of the support that he has received thus far.
An online petition launched to stop him 21 Savage from being deported back to the U.K., has garnered more than 200,000 signatures and counting. Patrisse Cullers, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, launched the petition shortly after the Grammy nominee was arrested by the the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In addition to BLM, the #Free21Savage campaign is supported by Color of Change, Define American, United We Dream and the Black Alliance for Joint Immigration.
— Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) February 5, 2019
His arrest and possible deportation sheds light on the “historically under-reported harassment and targeting of Black immigrants,” the petition reads.
“The hundreds of ICE assaults and detention of Black immigrants is an endemic in the United States, and is too often carried out with the assistance of local law enforcement,” states the petition, which is addressed to ICE Field Office Director, Sean Gallagher. “On February 3rd in the early afternoon, organizers were alerted to the arrest and detention of rapper, father, community activist and friend She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph — 21 Savage. The circumstances of Mr. Abraham-Joseph’s detention stand as a testament to the consistent and historically under-reported harassment and targeting of Black immigrants. The US’ violent history of criminalizing Blackness intersects with its deadly legacy of detaining and deporting Black and Brown immigrants. This needs to stop today!”
As of 2016, there were roughly 4.2 million Black immigrants in the U.S. and more than 600,000 who are undocumented.
Rep’s for 21 Savage cleared up some of the misinformation surrounding his citizenship in a statement to Pitchfork Tuesday (Feb. 5). For starters, the “Bank Account” rhymer was born in the U.K., but has lived in the states since he was 7 years old. He returned to the U.K. in 2005 for a few weeks before flying back to the states. The reps also noted that 21 Savage’s three children are U.S. citizens, his mother is a permanent resident and he has four siblings “that are either US Citizens or lawful permanent residents.”
The statement continues, “Mr. Abraham-Joseph was placed into deportation proceedings AFTER his arrest, he was not in deportation proceedings prior to this detention by ICE. DHS [Department of Homeland Security] has known his address since the filing of a U visa application in 2017. He has never hidden from DHS or any of its agencies. Mr. Abraham-Joseph is not subject to mandatory detention under federal law and is eligible for bond. By statute, bond should be granted by ICE when there is no flight risk or a danger to the community.
“We are unaware of why ICE apparently targeted Mr. Abraham-Joseph, but we will do everything possible to legally seek his release and pursue his available relief in immigration court.”
According to a tweet from 21 Savage’s co-manager, Justin “Meezy” Williams, the father of three is on lockdown 23 hours a day with no television and “no communication” besides 10 minute phone calls with Williams. Nonetheless, he seems to be in good spirits. “Everything I’ve told him that has been happening made him happy & makes this time fly by,” Williams tweeted. “Thank ya’ll for the support.”