M.I.A. Blasts U.S. Immigration Policies & Roc Nation Amid Custody Battle for 14-Year-Old Son

She suggested she's not being let into the country because she called for a ceasefire in Gaza, Palestine.

Xavi Torrent via Getty Images

British rapper M.I.A. is calling out the United States' immigration policies as she continues her struggle to see her 14-year-old son with ex-fiancé Benjamin Bronfman.

"Biden won't let me see my child," she tweeted in all-caps alongside a screenshot showing that she's ineligible for a U.S. visa because of "her past behaviour." "The longest processing is ment [sic] to be 2 months and it's already been that. ... I have to wait till a Republican wins. Wow."

M.I.A. and Bronfman welcomed their son in February 2009, but she's been struggling to maintain custody ever since they separated in 2012. She accused the billionaire of trying to take her son away from her in 2013, and publicly pleaded with the U.S. government to let her celebrate Christmas with him in Dec. 2023.

"They basically saying I have to wait for a Republican to come to office because nine months from now is the election," she continued. "I'm not allowed to see my child for stealing food at 18, when I was poor, yet ur government is ok with my child being with family convicted for child trafficking and sex cults ok. The difference between me and migrants coming in, is that I can't vote. I'm paying U.S. taxes too. Sick."

She's referring here to the Bronfman family's involvement in the NXIVM cult, which was led by convicted sex offender and racketeer Kieth Raniere. Benjamin Bronfman's grandfather Edgar Bronfman Sr. was briefly involved with NXIVM but later stopped his association when he rightly speculated it was a cult. His daughter Clare Bronfman was convicted on sex trafficking charges for her involvement in the cult.

M.I.A. also said she believes she's being denied a visa now because she spoke out against Israel's conflict in Palestine, which she labeled genocidal and called for a ceasefire.

"I'm sorry America but your ethics and morals are pretty fucked on this," she wrote. "I have show support for Julien for 14 years and have been to the USA many times. The only thing different this time is, I called for a ceasefire and spoke out against genocide and ethnic cleansing. Now I am forced to pick between my child and speaking up for what's right by God."

In further tweets, she made it clear she's not backing down from the custody battle. "I am happy to go to war for my child. Just like every mother," she wrote. "But is your monster the same as mine? ... My First custody battle was 2013. My child was four. I was managed by Jay-Z. Who ultimately was paid by Bronfmans."

She went on to claim that the reason her 2013 album Matangi failed to make much of an impact on release, despite a generally positive critical reception, is because of Jay-Z's association with the Bronfmans. "Be very clear why my Mathangi record was buried in 2013," she wrote. "I sacrificed my career for my child. They ripped me off and copied my style and gave it to their puppets and shadow banned me on every platform. But it was worth it to save him from the madness of what you know now."

The artist also wrote that Roc Nation, who she was previously signed with, "stopped all communication with me and all my emails to jayz asking for help was wiped from my inbox. My was broken into and every lap was taken. I was trapped in Brooklyn on order served that restricted me leaving bklyn for 15 years."

She also suggested that Hillary Clinton gifted Muammar Gaddafi oil fields to Sara Bronfman, who was also heavily involved with NXIVM, in 2011 when he was killed. "I was punished for saying he helped Africa," M.I.A. wrote. "Then they tried to send my child to one of her schools. When I went to visit the school, the children looked dozy and drugged and I couldn't tell why. I refused."

M.I.A.'s last studio release was 2022's Mata, which failed to chart on the Billboard 200. She's remained active musically and has occasionally played shows or festivals, but her focus right now is elsewhere.

Latest in Music