People don't believe ICE's arrest of 21 Savage in Atlanta is a coincidence




 

British-born rapper 21 Savage was arrested in Atlanta on Sunday when Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials picked him up on an expired visa. Atlanta is also the site of Sunday's Super Bowl LIII.

Twitter is struggling to accept the timing as a coincidence, to say the least.

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According to ICE, 21 Savage - a 26-year-old whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph - entered the country illegally in 2005, and then proceeded to stay after his year-long immigrant visa expired. (Yes, that means he was around 12 when he arrived.)

ICE initially cited a 2014 felony drug conviction as a reason for the arrest, per CBS News, though a subsequent local report noted that there's no such conviction, and that the rapper's lawyer has been trying to get the "2014 1st offender drug case" sealed. 21 Savage is currently being held in custody in Georgia as deportation proceedings begin.

As news of what happened began to make its way around social media, observers were quick to point out that the arrest came as all eyes are on Atlanta for the NFL's annual Super Bowl championship game. Many seem to think this was no accident, though one local reporter notes that unnamed officials said the arrest wasn't part of a "#SuperBowl-related ICE operation."

Donald Trump's presidency has been rife with anti-immigrant rhetoric and outright racism directed at people of color. In the midst of all the noise and controversy, ICE has often found itself at the center of various national security debates - and in news headlines for its sometimes questionable activities.

While none of this proves that ICE's action against 21 Savage in Atlanta on Super Bowl Sunday is some kind of strategic PR move - and there are reports from anonymous officials, at least, that it wasn't - plenty of people aren't buying it.

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