21 Savage was granted release on bond this week after being arrested on February 3 by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 21 appeared on “Good Morning America” today (February 15) for his first interview since the arrest.
21 Savage tells ABC News’ Linsey Davis he was “definitely targeted” by officials. When Davis asked Savage what happened the day of the arrest, he said: “I don’t even know, I was just driving and I just seen guns and blue lights. And then I was in the back of a car and I was gone.” When she asked if authorities told him he was under arrest, Savage replied “Nah, they didn’t say nothing. They just said, ‘We got Savage.’”
Davis later references 21 Savage’s “Fallon” performance of “a lot,” in which he rapped about immigration (“Been through some things so I can’t imagine my kids stuck at the border”). “Do you feel like you were targeted as a result of that, basically being critical of the immigration system here?” Davis asks. “My lawyers think that,” 21 replies. Adding his own opinion, 21 says, “I don’t really know. I can’t really say. I would see why people would think that, but I really can’t say.”
21’s attorney Dina LaPolt also appeared on “Good Morning America,” explaining, “We are in the middle of securing his immigration status, so where he’s a citizen, but it’s very, very complicated, and there’s a lot of steps that we have to go through.” Alex Spiro—the lawyer that JAY-Z hired for 21—added, “We believe, honestly, that he was targeted—of course, like they said—and part of the reason, we think, is both because he’s a celebrity, and they can use this as a way to send a message, and also, perhaps, because of his music.”
21 Savage’s legal team released a statement on his behalf this week. “He will not forget this ordeal or any of the other fathers, sons, family members, and faceless people, he was locked up with or that remain unjustly incarcerated across the country,” the statement reads. “And he asks for your hearts and minds to be with them.”
ICE claimed that 21 was a “United Kingdom national” who “is unlawfully present in the U.S.” After the arrest, the rapper confirmed via representatives that he was born in the United Kingdom. Contrary to ICE’s claim that he first came to the United States in 2005, 21 Savage said he arrived when he was 7 under an H-4 visa, departed in 2005 to visit the United Kingdom, and returned that same year. His representatives claimed 21 lost legal status in 2006 “through no fault of his own” and was attempting to obtain another visa when he was arrested by ICE.