After news hit Sunday that rapper 21 Savage is allegedly actually a British citizen who came to America at the age of 12, some celebrities and politicians rallied around the star.
ICE arrested 21 Savage, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, hours before the Super Bowl in what they called a “targeted operation” after he allegedly overstayed a visa issued in 2005. It was previously believed the rapper was born and raised in Atlanta.
“Mr. Abraham-Joseph was taken into ICE custody as he is unlawfully present in the U.S. and also a convicted felon,” ICE spokesman Brian Cox told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sunday.
The rapper, 26, was reportedly convicted of felony drug charges in Fulton County in 2014. He is now facing deportation, according to ICE.
Celebrities quickly took to social media to express their support of the Grammy-nominated rapper and condemn ICE, with multiple people calling for his release.
“Free 21,” Rapper Meek Mill tweeted after news of the arrest spread. Lil Yachty also tweeted the same. Even some politicians expressed their support, with Toronto City Councilor Norm Kelly tweeting, “Free 21 Savage.”
Others like Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren made fun of the rapper's arrest.
“I got one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight ICE agents ready to deport ya,” Lahren tweeted Sunday night, referencing the lyrics to the rapper’s popular song “Bank Account.”
Demi Lovato also came under fire after she wrote, “So far 21 savage memes have been my favorite part of the Super Bowl,” in a since-deleted tweet.
People immediately began criticizing Lovato for her remark, saying she was being insensitive. She eventually deleted her Twitter altogether.
“ALL THE MEMES AND S*** AINT FUNNY WHEN SOMEBODY GOING THROUGH SOME," Migos rapper Offset tweeted. "PRAYING FOR MY DAWG AINT S*** FUNNY HIS FANILY [sic] DEPENDING ON HIM."
The rapper’s lawyer, Dina LaPolt, said they are actively working to sort out the situation.
“We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with the authorities to clear up any misunderstandings,” LaPolt said in a statement. “Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in this country, especially in Atlanta, Georgia, and is actively working in the community — leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy."
Abraham-Joseph has also hosted a handful of initiatives around the Atlanta area. Most recently, he held his third annual “Issa Back 2 School Drive,” which provides uniforms and school supplies to children in Dekalb County.