21 Savage Calls for Young Immigrants to Be Granted US Citizenship. The rapper and immigration advocate was recently honored by the National Immigration Law Center. In an interview beforehand, he said citizenship should be automatic for those brought to the U.S. when they are underage. Savage originally moved to the United States from Great Britain when he was seven years old. I feel like we should be exempt. I feel like we should automatically become citizens, 21 Savage, via 'The Associated Press'.

21 Savage says young immigrants should become citizens, gets advocacy award 

Atlanta rapper 21 Savage, detained this year after allegedly overstaying a visa in the United States, was honored by a national immigrants’ rights organization Thursday.

The platinum-selling artist, whose real name is She'yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, received the Courageous Luminaries Award from the National Immigration Law Center. Since he was released from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody in February, the rapper has become an outspoken advocate for immigration reform. 

He was arrested Feb. 3 after it was revealed he is actually from the United Kingdom and was brought to the U.S. when he was a child. ICE officials said he overstayed his visa.

Patrisse Cullors (left), co-founder of Black Lives Matter, presents 21 Savage with an award at the NILC Courageous Luminaires Awards last week. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for NILC)
Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for NILC

» RELATED: Atlanta rapper 21 Savage: Immigration enforcement system ‘broken’

At the event and award ceremony Thursday night, 21 Savage gave a speech in support of young people who come to the country at a young age. He told the Associated Press that he believes immigrants like him who lived in America as children should automatically become citizens.

He recently donated $25,000 to the Southern Poverty Law Center with the goal of ensuring that immigrants in detention centers in the south have access to legal representation.

21 Savage Says He Was Targeted by ICE The rapper gave his first interview since being released with ‘Good Morning America' and said he was “definitely targeted.” He recalled that he was never told he was being taken into custody. 21 Savage, to 'Good Morning America' Savage said his mom’s words helped him through his detainment. 21 Savage, to 'Good Morning America' He also discussed his life in Atlanta despite originally being from the UK. 21 Savage, to 'Good Morning America' He then shared a message f

“21 Savage’s story is a powerful reminder of our deeply flawed immigration system,” Marielena Hincapié, the executive director of the NILC, said in a statement. “We are committed to fighting for the rights of immigrants and we’re thrilled to honor 21 Savage for standing with us in this fight against this administration’s ongoing attack on immigrant communities.”

Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, presented the rapper with the award.

21 Savage calls DeKalb County home, and is known for his local financial literacy programs and annual back-to-school giveaways.

» READ MORE: ‘It’s where I’m from’ — 21 Savage’s back-to-school event a hit

“It’s important to give back, because these same people support me, so I support them,” told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution at this year’s “Issa Back 2 School Drive” in DeKalb.

The rapper said growing up in Atlanta was an integral part of his life, and he wishes the case with ICE was “fake.”

“I wish these bullet holes go away, too, but it’s where I’m from,” he told the AJC.

Follow DeKalb County News on Facebook and Twitter 

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

X