21 Savage Thinks Children Of Illegal Immigrants Should Automatically Become Citizens
By Stephanie Ogbogu
21 Savage is speaking from experience when he says that he believes children who are brought to the United States illegally should be allowed automatic citizenship.
21 Savage, who was born in London to parents who are of Dominica and Haitian descent, moved to Atlanta, GA with his mother at the age of 7. In June 2005, when he was 12 years old, he went to the U.K. for his uncle’s funeral and stayed there for a month. He returned with his mother on an H-4 visa. However, a year later, when 21 Savage was only 13 years old, the H-4 visa expired.
It wasn’t until 2019, over a decade and a half later that the rapper would even know about his immigration status. Nor would he have been able to do anything about it himself at 13 years old.
“When you’re a child, you don’t know what’s going on,” he said in an interview before receiving an award from the National Immigration Law Center. “Now, you grow up and got to figure it out. Can’t get a job. Can’t get a license. I’m one of the lucky ones who became successful. It’s a lot of people who can’t.”
“When you ain’t got no choice, you should be exempt,” he added. “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.”
“I feel like we should automatically become citizens. They just lose hope. I feel like kids who were brought here at young ages, they should automatically be like ‘Yeah, you good to stay here, work and go to college.’ It should be nipped in the bud before it gets to a point before you come of age.”
21 Savage spent 10 days in a Georgia detention center last February following a targeted sting operation over his expired visa. Earlier this week, he received the Courageous Luminaries award from the NILC for being an advocate for immigrant justice and a face for Black immigrants.