In his first public appearance since his arrest by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement nearly two weeks ago, 21 Savage spoke on Good Morning America detailing his experience two days after he was granted bond and released from federal immigration custody.
"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," Savage, born She'yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, said on Friday, adding that authorities didn't tell him he was under arrest. "They just said, 'We got Savage.'"
"It was definitely targeted. There was helicopters," he said.
The 26-year-old explained that ICE has the wrong timeline of his immigration to the United States, which he said occurred years before ICE claims.
"I was seven when I first came here. And we left in, like, 2005 'cause my uncle died, my Uncle Foster. So we went back to go to his funeral, and then, we came back," the Britain-born rapper said. "So that's why I think [ICE] got it confused where they thought, like, that was my first coming."
Savage's lawyers say he should be considered a Dreamer, the name used to describe children who were brought to the country illegally by their parents and offered visas under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigrations policy. The rapper said he didn't even know what a visa was when he arrived as a child.
"I didn't even know what a visa was. I was 7 when I first came here," Savage explained. "I knew I wasn't born here, but I didn't know, like, what that meant as far as when I transitioned into an adult, how that would affect my life."
"I wouldn't hide it [the fact that he wasn't born in the U.S.], but I didn't want to get deported, so I'm not just gonna come out and be like, 'Hey, by the way, I wasn't born here,'" he said.
"I don't think the policy is broken, I think the way they enforce the policy is broken," Savage added.
After spending more than a week in jail, Savage said he was detained in "one room, all day" by himself.
“My mama told me to picture where I wanna be. She said, ‘Visualize yourself, whatever you wanna do, just close your eyes and visualize yourself doing that. And as long as you do that, you will never be in jail,'" he said.
Savage was arrested on Super Bowl Sunday, with an ICE spokesman saying that "in addition to being in violation of federal immigrant law, Mr. Abraham-Joseph was convicted on felony drug charges in October 2014 in Fulton County, Georgia." But Savage's legal team went on to argue that he "has no criminal convictions or charges under state or federal law and is free to seek relief from removal in immigration court."0comments
But Savage isn't letting the threat of deportation overrule his outlook. "I feel like I done been through so much in my life, like I learned to embrace the times when I'm down 'cause they always build me up," he said.
"I've been here 20 years, 19 years," he said, adding, "This is all I know. I don't think you should be arrested and put in a place where a murderer would be for just being in the country for too long."