What The Case Of 21 Savage Reveals About Immigration In America

Hasan Daniels and Kayla Mitchell

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Recently, the partial government shutdown has led to heated debates on how to handle immigration within the country, and the arrest of rapper 21 Savage has brought more light to the controversial topic.

On Sunday, February 3rd, the same day as the Super Bowl, rapper and Atlanta native 21 Savage was arrested by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency for allegedly overstaying his visa.

“He was an Atlanta rapper who was thriving,” said freshman Jahari Crawford. “He was pulled over for the possession of a gun, and while they were trying to look him up in their files he did not pop up so he was arrested by I.C.E. I find it strange how he was arrested before and this situation didn’t occur, but now that he is making money and positively impacting his community, they decide that he should no longer be here.”

The arrest of the “Bank Account” artist made many headlines despite that event being the same day as one of America’s favorite past times. This led to many other rappers and celebrities speaking out on the arrest and giving their condolences to the family and friends of the detained rapper.

“This case has showed me how quick America or the government is to react to certain people in certain ways because this was on the news and was made to seem like a big issue,” said junior Sara Dajani. “We kind of see they take actions on specific types of people and not the same for other groups.”

A few days after the arrest, it was confirmed that 21 Savage was born in the United Kingdom and that he had overstayed a visa that had expired in 2005 when he was about 12 years old. Though the artist has claimed that he has tried to make many attempts to renew his Visa but the process had continued to be delayed. With the help of New York rapper, Jay Z, he was given a legal team that helped him get bail until his later trial.

“I think it’s very unfortunate but part of me is shocked because it is not immigration in the traditional sense, where these immigrants are from Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries, it was from the UK which is already a well off country,” said senior Moses Pastran.

Some speculate whether or not the arrest of 21 Savage was targeted as a way of using a celebrity as an example of how the government handles immigration.

Rapper 21 Savage feels he was targeted. In an interview with ABC News one day after being released from an immigration detention center in South Georgia, he stated, “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. They didn’t even say anything, they just said ‘We got Savage.’ It was definitely targeted.”

Some people wondered why they felt it was necessary to apprehend the rapper for illegal immigration, despite him not being a threat to society.

According to a Pew Research Center article, “Majority of Americans continue to say immigrants strengthen the U.S.” by research associate Bradley Jones, “62% of Americans believe that immigrants strengthen the country because of their contributions when it comes to hard work and talent.”

Even though statistics reveal that many people support immigration in America, there is still a huge political divide when it comes to the topic.

From the beginning of his campaign, current president Donald Trump has had a constant promise to his supporters that a wall will be built along the southern border to restrict the number of illegal immigrants entering the country.

“My opinion on this wall is different from most,” said Pastran. “A wall isn’t a bad idea but the Trump version of the wall is a huge waste of money. If I were Trump I would make a way smaller wall, and instead, work on making I.C.E more efficient rather than resorting to making deportation your first option.”

Throughout his presidency, there has been a concern about where the funding for the wall will come from leading to an even bigger divide. The recent partial government shutdown that was called to action after the Democratic Party led by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi and Republican Party led by Donald Trump was followed by multiple discussions regarding the funding for the wall being built on the southern border.

Until the wall is completely built, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency continues to identify and remove illegal immigrants from the country every day. To some, that might be a sign of relief but for others, it may be considered a fight for change.

“Our country is torn apart because of immigration,” said sophomore Julie Barrios. “We must come together as a country and realize our number one job is protecting our citizens and not arguing amongst each other.”

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