US Rep. Hank Johnson has written a letter in support of recently arrested rapper 21 Savage.
The Georgia congressman, a Democrat representing the state’s 4th District, has gotten to know the 26-year-old while working on charitable projects in the Atlanta area with him, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In the letter, meant for whichever immigration judge ends up hearing the case, Johnson made clear that while the rapper, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, is not a US citizen, he has made the state of Georgia, and specifically the Atlanta area, his home.
“He was raised and spent his formative years in and around Atlanta, and he has developed deep family roots and personal ties to our wonderful state of Georgia, and to Gwinnett and DeKalb counties in particular,” he wrote in the letter.
The congressman also noted the vital contribution the “A Lot” rapper has made to his home town, writing, “He spends his time giving back to the community and supporting and promoting the betterment of our youth,” he wrote. “He has been an outstanding figure and influence within his family and within Atlanta.”
21 Savage was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Atlanta early Sunday morning. The agency alleges he is a UK citizen who has been living in the country illegally since overstaying his visa as a child.
The day after he was taken into custody, Charles H. Kuck, an immigration lawyer working on behalf of 21, released a statement calling his arrest a “civil law violation.”