21 Savage was reportedly arrested on Sunday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which claims the rapper is actually a citizen of the United Kingdom and has overstayed his visa, according to multiple reports.
ICE spokesman Brian Cox told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the 26-year-old rapper, born Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested in a “targeted operation” early on Sunday morning.
Cox reportedly said the rapper is an “unlawfully present United Kingdom national” who entered the country legally as a teenager in July 2005 on a visa, which expired the following year.
“In addition to being in violation of federal immigration law, Mr. Abraham-Joseph was convicted on felony drug charges in October 2014 in Fulton County, Georgia,” an ICE spokesman said in a statement according to Fox 5 Atlanta.”Mr. Abraham-Joseph is presently in ICE custody in Georgia and has been placed into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts. ICE will now await the outcome of his case before a federal immigration judge to determine future actions.”
According to CNN reporter Nick Valencia, a spokesman for ICE claimed that the rapper’s “whole public persona is false.”
The rapper has claimed he was born in Georgia.
In a statement to TMZ, the rapper’s attorney Dina LaPolt said, “We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with authorities to clear up any misunderstanding. Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in the country — especially in Atlanta, Georgia and is actively working in the community leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy.”