AceShowbiz - Rapper 21 Savage has called on U.S. leaders to grant immigrant children automatic citizenship.
The "A Lot" hitmaker, who was born in England, was part of on a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation in February after officials ruled he had overstayed his visa, which expired in 2006.
21 Savage, real name Sheyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, has since been freed from detention and has applied for a new visa, but he insists other migrants without his celebrity and wealth should be given more leniency by government authorities.
"When you're a child, you don't know what's going on," he told the Associated Press. "Now, you grow up and got to figure it out. Can't get a job. Can't get a license. I'm one of the lucky ones who became successful. It's a lot of people who can't."
"I feel like we (child migrants) should be exempt. I feel like we should automatically become citizens," the hip hop star added. "When you ain't got no choice, you should be exempt. It's not like I was 30, woke up and moved over here. I've been here since I was, like, seven or eight, probably younger than that. I didn't know anything about visas and all that. I just knew we were moving to a new place."
21 Savage was honoured on Thursday, October 3 by the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) for his immigration justice advocacy and he encourages migrants who may be in the country illegally to keep the faith.
"They just lose hope," he said of immigrants. "I feel like kids who were brought here at young ages, they (government officials) should automatically be like 'Yeah, you good to stay here, work and go to college.' It should be nipped in the bud before it gets to a point before you come of age... We got a fight that we need to continue in this country. It ain't over yet."