Earlier this month, rapper 21 Savage was arrested by ICE—that’s U.S. Immigrations And Customs Enforcement if you’re a cop—on charges of overstaying his visa. 21 Savage is a prominent member of Atlanta’s rap community and has spent most of his life in the United States, but it turns out that he was actually born in the United Kingdom and ICE claims that he’s been living in this country illegally since 2006. Now, nine days later, 21 Savage has been released on bond, with a statement from his attorneys explaining that they have spent those days working with ICE to “clarify his actual legal standing, his eligibility for bond, and provide evidence of his extraordinary contributions to his community and society.” Savage, who was supposed to perform at the Grammys on Sunday, said in his own note that he “will not forget this ordeal or any of the other fathers, sons, family members, and faceless people he was locked up with or that remain unjustly incarcerated across the country.”
ICE, meanwhile, is saying that its arrest was justified because Savage—whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph is—“unlawfully present in the U.S. and also a convicted felon.” This all comes from Variety, which notes that Savage’s conviction (on a felony drug charge from 2014) was expunged from his record. Meanwhile, California Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren has questioned the timing of ICE’s decision to arrest Savage, which came just days after he released a video for his track “A Lot” that included a new verse in which he referenced ICE’s policy of imprisoning children at the border. Also, Savage was undergoing the process needed to continue staying in the country legally, which the government obviously should’ve been aware of.
Savage is still facing a deportation hearing at a later date.