Petition to deport Justin Bieber tops 100,000 signatures, may be reviewed by White House
By CNN Political Unit
(CNN) — It looks like the White House may have to weigh in on the Biebs.
A petition calling for the deportation of Canadian-born Justin Bieber surpassed the 100,000 signature threshold, meaning the White House must, by its own rules, issue a response.
Titled, “Deport Justin Bieber and revoke his green card,” was created less than a week ago and quickly amassed the required signatures long before the 30 day deadline for the “We the People” petition program.
“We the people of the United States feel that we are being wrongly represented in the world of pop culture,” the petition states. “We would like to see the dangerous, reckless, destructive, and drug abusing, Justin Bieber deported and his green card revoked. He is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nations youth. We the people would like to remove Justin Bieber from our society.”
As of 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, it had nearly 121,000 signatures.
Bieber, 19, was arrested last week in Miami Beach and charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license after police saw the pop start street racing.
Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez told reporters that Bieber “made some statements that he had consumed some alcohol, and that he had been smoking marijuana and consumed some prescription medication.”
Will the White House actually look at it?
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked about the issue Wednesday in the daily press briefing.
She said the petition program doesn’t necessarily mean action would be taken but it’s rather “an opportunity for the voices of the American people” to be heard.
But the terms of the program, as stated on the White House website, says if a petition meets the 100,000 signature threshold, “it will be reviewed by the administration and we will issue a response.”
Psaki said she would check and see what the criteria was for violating a visa, but noted that individual visa cases are confidential.
The White House has drastically cut back on the number of responses it actually issued in the past year. The Washington Times reports that in the final six months of 2013, only one new petition received a response.
Other petitions, with far fewer signatures than 100,000, have popped up on the website, both supporting and opposing Bieber’s deportation.
A competing petition, created on January 25, calls for keeping Beiber in the United States. It has about 1,800 signatures, and at this rate, would need more than 98,000 more by February 24 .
So what do the experts say?
CNN reported on the question earlier this week.
In addition to the charges he faces in Florida, investigators in California are also weighing whether Bieber will face a felony vandalism charge tied to an egg attack there.
Immigration lawyers say convictions on those charges wouldn’t generally lead to deportation for someone like Bieber, who has a visa allowing him to legally live in the United States because of his “extraordinary ability” in the arts.
That’s because those charges aren’t considered to be aggravated felonies or crimes of moral turpitude — the two types of crimes that federal law defines as grounds for the deportation of non-citizen immigrants.
And according to federal law, only violent crimes and sentences longer than a year result in a re-evaluation of a person’s visa status.
Translation for those of you who aren’t legal eagles: Bieber’s probably not going anywhere.
CNN’s Elise Labott contributed to this report.
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