21 Savage is speaking out for the first time since his arrest and detainment by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Grammy-nominated rapper appeared on Good Morning America, where he addressed the flaws within American immigration enforcement.
The I Am > I Was emcee sat down with ABC News' Linsey Davis with details on ICE and how long he's been in America.
"I don’t think the policy is broken. I feel like the way they enforce the policy is broken. I have been here 20 years — 19 years. This is all I know, you know what I am saying? I don’t feel like you should be arrested and put in a place where a murderer would be for just being in the country for too long," he said.
After his arrest, reports surfaced that the rapper addressing immigration during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon played a role in his detainment.
"My lawyers think that.I don’t really know. I can’t really say. I would see why people would think that, but I really can’t say," he added.
Alex Spiro, a member of 21 Savage's legal defense team, shared his thoughts on the rapper being intentionally targeted by ICE. "We believe, honestly, that he was targeted—of course, like they said—and part of the reason, we think, is both because he’s a celebrity, and they can use this as a way to send a message, and also, perhaps, because of his music.”
Per ICE spokesman Brian Cox, 21 Savage was considered “unlawfully present United Kingdom national” who legally entered the United States in July 2005 on a visa. That visa reportedly expired a year later.
"I [didn’t] know what a visa was,” he said. “I was seven when I first came here. I knew I wasn’t born here. But I didn’t know what that meant as far as when I transitioned into an adult how it was going to affect my life. I wasn’t hiding it. But it is like — I didn’t want to get deported.”
21 Savage was arrested and taken into ICE custody on February 3. The rapper was released on $100,000 bond after he was detained for more than a week. He is still facing deportation.
(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)