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21 Savage arrested by US immigration, says he’s not American

American rapper 21 Savage arrested by US immigration officials who say he is actually from the UK, reports say.

The rapper, Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, came to the US in July 2005 aged 12 and failed to leave when his visa expired a year later, officials said.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesman said he was being held for removal proceedings.

He has previously described a childhood in Atlanta during interviews.

In an interview with Fader magazine in 2016 he said he first saw a gun aged eight – although the article did specify where this incident took place.

He is also quoted in the interview as saying he was expelled from school in Atlanta aged about 12 or 13 for taking a gun to class.

A CNN reporter quoted an ICE spokesman as saying:

“His whole public persona is false”.

ICE said Abraham-Joseph was arrested as part of a “targeted operation with federal and local law enforcement partners”. Bryan Cox, Ice southern regional spokesman, confirmed the arrest to local Atlanta station WSB TV.

“Mr Abraham-Joseph was taken into ICE custody as he is unlawfully present in the US and also a convicted felon,” Cox said.

Abraham-Joseph has a history of gang activity and, according to an Ice statement, was convicted on felony drug charges in Fulton county, Georgia, in October 2014.

He has been affiliated with the Atlanta music scene and performed in the city as recently as Thursday, as part of the Super Bowl Music Fest at State Farm Arena.

An Ice statement said it would “await the outcome of his case before a federal immigration judge to determine future actions”.

An attorney, Dina LaPolt, told TMZ lawyers were “working diligently to get Mr Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with authorities to clear up any misunderstanding.

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