It’s safe to say that folks were completely shocked when 21 Savage was arrested and detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in February of this year.
Because the rapper never mentioned that he was born in the United Kingdom, and through his music and past interviews it seemed that he spent his entire life in Atlanta. But Savage actually didn’t move to the Southern city until age seven.
In a newly released interview with Billboard, Savage talked about being detained by ICE and what he found the most challenging part of the experience. Because the “A lot” rapper has been locked up before, but he said February’s arrest was much different.
“The worst thing was sitting in there not knowing what was going to happen, or when it’s going to happen,” he explained. “Whenever I went to jail before, it was, ‘You’re being charged with this and going to court on this date.’ But immigration ain’t like that. You’re just being held.”
And that gray cloud of uncertainty never truly lifted for Savage, even when ICE released him after 10 days on February 12. Because there’s still a chance he can be deported back to England.
The rapper probably thought he’d have some answers regarding his future this month, because his deportation hearing was supposed to be on April 9, but it’s been postponed.
The main reason for the delay is because Savage’s case will now have to be handled by a new team of judges since he’s no longer in detention. It’ll also take a while before his case resumes and he learns his fate.
“They don’t have enough nondetained judges, so his case is waiting to be assigned,” said the rapper’s immigration lawyer, Charles Kuck. “I can’t give anybody, even him, a date as to when that might be.”
But according to Kuck, Savage has a solid chance of remaining stateside. Because his three children are U.S. citizens, his mother, siblings and other family members are in the States legally and Savage has been in the U.S. for more than a decade (Savage left the United States for a month in 2005 to attend a funeral). Plus he had a U visa — a non-immigrant visa for crime victims who are assisting in criminal investigations — that was pending before his arrest.
“He has a lot of options,” said Kuck.
For now, the “Bank Account” creator is keeping busy until his immigration case is figured out, since he’s scheduled to play in major summer festivals like Lollapalooza and Rolling Loud. And in the meantime, the 26-year-old asked his fans to keep on supporting him.
“Just stay down with me and wait,” he stated.