Why did ICE target 21 Savage for arrest and deportation for months?

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21 Savage was arrested and detained by ICE on Super Bowl Sunday. As it turns out, the so-called “Atlanta rapper” is actually a British citizen and a de facto Dreamer. His family moved to America when he was a minor, and now he has American children and an American business and an American home. But he’s still on his way to being deported, despite the seemingly strong case for simply getting a new visa and beginning the citizenship process. So TMZ has a lengthy story about how it all went down, and how it came to be that 21 Savage was arrested on Super Bowl Sunday, and why it feels like he was very specifically targeted.

21 Savage may be deported, and not because he’s ineligible to stay in the United States … it’s because of Donald Trump. Sources directly connected to the case tell TMZ … the decision to arrest and deport 21 Savage was made months ago by the Atlanta bureau of ICE. At that time, ICE decided it would arrest Savage and hold him without bond until he could be deported.

As for why ICE wanted Savage held without bond, we’ve learned they incorrectly believed 21 had a felony conviction, which would have disqualified him from being able to post bond. As we reported, 21′s 2014 drug conviction was vacated and sealed in the Fall — which effectively erases it — but court records weren’t updated, so all ICE saw was the conviction.

Now, this is super weird … we’ve learned just days ago ICE headquarters in Washington D.C. got involved in the case, and when they did, ICE had already figured out 21 was not a felon and therefore should have been released on bond. Our sources say ICE in D.C. IGNORED the fact that the conviction was erased and doubled down, saying 21 should NOT be released. No one we’ve spoken to has any idea why D.C. took such a position when it was not supported by the facts.

We’ve confirmed ICE was on the scene with various other local and federal law enforcement agencies when 21 was arrested on Super Bowl Sunday with a plan to arrest him. We’re told ATF first took 21 into custody and literally handed him over to an ICE agent on the spot. Our ICE sources say they had no other involvement in the other arrests at the scene … they were only there to arrest Savage. It is unclear why ICE needed to be part of that operation … why didn’t they just go to 21′s home and arrest him in the months prior to the sting?

As we reported, 21′s lawyers went to court Tuesday and convinced a judge to bond 21 out. As for next steps, 21′s application to stay in the U.S. will be processed, and it’s virtually certain it will be approved because he qualifies on every count. He has dependents in the country, he has no convictions, and he’s been here more than 10 years. There are no obstacles in his way … EXCEPT TRUMP. Turns out Trump changed the immigration policies from Obama and Bush. We’re told Trump’s marching orders are to deport people who have a pending visa application — even if it’s a slam dunk — and they can come back if and when it’s approved.

We’ve learned, before 21 Savage was released Tuesday, ICE agents told him they would drop deportation proceedings if he voluntarily left the country. We’re told he passed and will fight to stay. BTW … 21 filed his application to stay in the U.S. in 2017 and it takes around 4 years for ICE to process it, so the stakes are high.

[From TMZ]

The TL; DR version is that ICE had 21 Savage in their crosshairs for months based on incomplete information, and they targeted him specifically. And now that he’s in the system – the ICE merry-go-round – it will be very hard for him to stay, because Donald Trump has vilified ALL immigrants to the point where people honestly “forget” that it’s NOT ILLEGAL to be in this country and apply for visas and/or citizenship. Like, the Deplorables talk about immigrants like there’s something inherently wrong and illegal about applying for those things. Unless you’re a white Eastern-European model, then you can stay and your family can chain-migration into the country.

The 2018 NBA Awards

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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16 Responses to “Why did ICE target 21 Savage for arrest and deportation for months?”

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  1. Darla says:

    First executive order in January 21 has to be overturn these racist trump deportation rules.

  2. Darla says:

    First executive order in January 21 has to be overturn these racist trump deportation rules.

  3. Original T.C. says:

    He was also on Falon rapping against the current policy against immigrants and the caging of those poor kids. Just a coincidence right? Right..

  4. Veronica S. says:

    Well, you know, he’s committed the crime of being brown and having opinions, and ICE can’t be tolerating that.

  5. Tomato8o says:

    I don’t think you need to put Atlanta rapper in quotes; he spent over half his life there.

    • Clare says:

      Agree. There is more to ones identity and where they identify as being from, than where they were born and/or the colour of their passport. Stop supporting this narrative which systematically others immigrants.

    • Janie says:

      Yeah, it sounds like he’s spent most of his life in Atlanta. I don’t think his accent is fake either. I know a few people who moved to Canada from the UK in their teens and (a decade or two later) don’t have a British accent anymore. When you live somewhere and almost exclusively hang out with people who have that region’s accent, you will often naturally begin to speak the same way. I very much doubt he considers himself British. He’s an Atlantan. He’s lived there for over a decade, contributed to the culture and the economy, (I assume, not really sure how US-UK taxes work) paid his taxes in Atlanta, and his children were born there.

      This is just ICE’s way of making a statement. It’s very suspicious that he was arrested days after rapping these lyrics on Fallon: “Been through some things so I can’t imagine my kids stuck at the border / Flint still need water / People was innocent, couldn’t get lawyers”. I wonder if he was targeted specifically because he spoke out about these issues. If true, that’s a serious violation of free speech.

      On a positive note, the fact that he’s a public figure means that he can bring a ton of press to the issue and make sure no one forgets the atrocities being committed by ICE and the current US administration. He’s in a prime position to mobilize his fans and his community against ICE, and he’s definitely doing a great job so far. It’s sketchy how the ICE statement on his arrest said: “His whole public persona is false. He actually came to the U.S. from the U.K. as a teen and overstayed his visa.” That sounds like an attempt to alienate him from his community and any grassroots support within it.

  6. Kittycat says:

    ICE must be filled with truly are disgusting individuals

    • breebree says:

      It really is. There is this show about border patrol agents and it’s really horrifying and illuminating. They refer to people trying to cross the border as “bodies” and talk about them like they aren’t even human. Had to turn it off, was so upsetting.

  7. Lilly (with the double_L) says:

    This is such a deplorable tactic to scare POC into silence and not speaking their mind. #PresidentMiller s war on any non-White people, which I’m sure they consider actual White people who stand up for POC, is predictable and I have to remind myself to keep my endurance.

  8. BCity says:

    I was in Atlanta for the Super Bowl and felt very strongly that ICE chose to arrest him then to make a statement. I don’t care where he was born, he’s an Atlanta rapper and they did that sh*t when the entire country’s eyes were on the city for a reason. It was a Super Bowl Sunday gift/distraction for the deplorables, because their loser of a president, the great negotiator, is a giant f*cking failure and they hoped arresting a person of color would distract them. The shame of it all.

  9. Patty says:

    Yep. Everything that happens is by design. Especially when it comes to racism and the haves vs the have nots. He was targeted because of his political beliefs and his advocacy. Yet, another reason why ICE utter garbage. The INS was never this militant.

    • BCity says:

      Absolutely agree. Many years ago, I worked in HR and dealing with the INS was like calling any other government agency with a question and when our I9 forms were audited it wasn’t a combative process at all. ICE acts like the Stasi and that should alarm everyone, but people always have to learn the hard way in this country.

  10. Tiffany :) says:

    It is chilling that he was targeted in this way. It reminds me of what happens under authoritarian regimes.

    • BCity says:

      Indeed it is. The GOP doesn’t give a flying fig who they hurt or how history remembers them, so it’s up to all of us to send the message loud and clear from the ballot box.

  11. OCE says:

    “just a coincidence” that 21 Savage was arrested on Super Bowl Sunday, a day of NFL boycott for many Black people, Black musicians, Black artists and supporters of Kapernik and the Black Lives Matter movement. *rolls eyes* #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay