21 Savage Says Young Undocumented Immigrants Should Automatically Become U.S. Citizens
21 Savage feels that younger, undocumented immigrants should automatically receive U.S. citizenship.
On Thursday night (Oct. 3), the Atlanta rapper traveled to Los Angeles where the National Immigration Law Center presented him with the Courageous Luminaries Award. Before he accepted the award, which was presented to him by Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, 21 told the Associated Press that he believes undocumented immigrant children should be exempt from the United States' immigration laws.
“I feel like we should be exempt,” says 21, who himself immigrated from England to the U.S. in 1999. “I feel like we should automatically become citizens. When you ain’t got no choice, you should be exempt. It’s not like I was 30, woke up and moved over here. I’ve been here since I was like 7 or 8, probably younger than that. I didn’t know anything about visas and all that. I just knew we were moving to a new place.”
21 Savage speaks from his personal experience. Back in February, the rapper, who was born She'yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after he was accused of being an illegal immigrant. He was detained by ICE because he overstayed his visa, which expired in 2006.
Having been through a battle to become a U.S. citizen, 21 empathizes with the plight of children placed in similar situations.
“When you’re a child, you don’t know what’s going on,” continued 21, who's said that being deported is worst nightmare. “Now, you grow up and got to figure it out. 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.”
After being arrested, 21 Savage was released from ICE's custody after 10 days. Back in June, 21 revealed that he donated $25,000 to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is an Alabama-based nonprofit civil rights organization that came to his defense after he was put in ICE.
See photos of 21 at the event for yourself below.
See Photos of 21 Savage at National Immigration Law Center Event