The saga of 21 Savage’s arrest by ICE has become more convoluted by the day. First, he was pulled over and arrested in a separate operation targeting his cousin Young Nudy, then The Daily Mail produced a British birth certificate it says proves that he is an English citizen, and now, TMZ reports that 21’s lawyer insists that the 26-year-old rapper had already applied for a special kind of visa for nonimmigrants who are victims of crime and is being intimidated by ICE into leaving the US.
Charles H. Kuck, 21’s attorney, told TMZ that the rapper applied for a U visa in 2017, that ICE knew about the application, and that ICE did not take any action against 21 until after 21’s outspoken performance of his song “A Lot” during a late night appearance which criticized immigration policy and the agency. Kuck pointed out that, while ICE pointed to 21’s 2014 arrest for drug possession in its statement, they took no action against him even though his visa was reportedly expired by then. That conviction was expunged in September 2018, meaning it couldn’t be held against him in any future legal cases.
The U visa 21 reportedly applied for is, according the the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website: “set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.” 21 was shot in 2013 alongside his best friend (an incident he’s talked about in interviews and rapped about on songs), and Kuck says this should give him grounds to stay in the US.
The attorney accused ICE of trying “to intimidate him into giving up his right to fight to remain in the United States,” pointing out that he originally overstayed his via “as a minor… he, like almost two million other children, was left without legal status through no fault of his own.” He also pointed out that 21 has children who are citizens by birthright and that he deserves the opportunity to stay and support them.