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A rap music artist who performed at this year’s Super Bowl Music Fest was arrested Sunday and charged with being in the United States illegally.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced they have arrested rapper 21 Savage early Sunday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
ICE spokesman Bryan Cox revealed that the rapper’s real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph.
Abraham-Joseph was taken into custody in a “targeted operation” near Atlanta, Cox said.
Although the newspaper said that Abraham-Joseph, 26, “has claimed to be from Atlanta,” ICE said that was not so.
Abraham-Joseph is an “unlawfully present United Kingdom national” who came to America on a visa in 2005, Cox said. The visa expired in 2006.
Abraham-Joseph is in “removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts,” Cox said.
“ICE will now await the outcome of his case before a federal immigration judge to determine future actions,” an ICE statement said, according to CNN.
Under the name 21 Savage, Abraham-Joseph was nominated for two 2019 Grammy Awards, Variety reported. His most recent album, “I Am > I Was,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
“We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with authorities to clear up any misunderstanding,” said Dina LaPolt, an attorney for the rapper.
“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,” LaPolt said.
An ICE official told the AJC that when Abraham-Joseph was arrested in 2014, ICE was not aware of his immigration status. They only learned later that he is allegedly from the U.K.
The arrest of Abraham-Joseph came after a traffic stop in DeKalb County. Three other people with Abraham-Joseph were arrested at that stop.
ICE said that in 2014, Abraham-Joseph was convicted on felony drug charges, but ICE was not aware of his visa issues at the time.