21 Savage: Undocumented Immigrants Brought As Kids Should Automatically Become Citizens

“When you ain’t got no choice, you should be exempt.”

(AllHipHop News) Earlier this year, 21 Savage (né Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph) became the face of undocumented immigration in the United States when the London-born entertainer spent 10 days in a Georgia detention center. The Atlanta-based rapper moved to the U.S. as a young child and his visa expired back in 2006 when he was a teenager.

The National Immigration Law Center honored Abraham-Joseph as a 2019 Courageous Luminaries Award recipient. He was recognized for helping to shine a light on the American immigration system. The Associated Press spoke to 21 at the event on Thursday night.

“When you ain’t got no choice, you should be exempt,” said 21 Savage about the legal status of underaged immigrants. “It’s not like I was 30, woke up and moved over here. I’ve been here since I was like 7 or 8, probably younger than that. I didn’t know anything about visas and all that. I just knew we were moving to a new place.”

The 26-year-old “A Lot” performer added, “I feel like we should automatically become citizens.” He also talked about how minors that were brought to America without documentation or overstayed visas have a difficult time getting a job or a driver’s license as adults. 

In 2012, President Barack Obama implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy which allowed some undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to receive a renewable a deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit. The Donald Trump Administration has attempted to end the DACA program.