The "Deport Justin Bieber" petition at WhiteHouse.gov has finally gotten a response from the Obama administration, but probably not the one the petition's 273,000 supporters were hoping for.
In an official response titled "Believing in Immigration Reform," the White House responded, "Sorry to disappoint, but we won't be commenting on this one." The response then continues with a discussion of "common-sense immigration reform."
Why won't the White House take the "Deport Bieber" petition seriously?
'We the People' Won't Deport Bieber
The "We the People" section of WhiteHouse.gov invites petitions like "Deport Justin Bieber and revoke his green card" to gather signatures. Petitions receive some sort of response from the executive branch if they get more than 100,000 people to sign on.
However, the anti-Beliebers forgot to read the fine print on the website's terms of participation. In order to "avoid the appearance of improper influence," the White House can basically ignore any request that might properly be handled by law enforcement or the courts. That includes deportation proceedings.
You might see the wisdom in this if you consider a petition like "Jail Lindsay Lohan." Yes she's violated probation multiple times, but her punishment and/or prosecution has to be handled by the criminal justice system.
Despite being a great PR play for the White House, the "We the People" program is not a portal for popular requests to jail or deport American residents or citizens.
Is Bieber Safe From Deportation?
So the question remains: Is Bieber at risk for deportation? Yes and no. The pop icon has nothing to fear from the "Deport Bieber" petition (legally anyway), but since Justin Bieber hasn't been granted citizenship, he may still be subject to removal if he misbehaves.
The Biebs is currently faces charges of DUI, resisting arrest, and driving without a license for an alleged drugged driving incident in Miami in January. None of these charges are likely to interfere with Bieber's O-1 visa, which is granted to exemplary performers.
That doesn't mean that Bieber is bulletproof, however. A subsequent DUI or reckless driving incident that injures someone may interfere with renewing his O-1 visa or even make it harder for him to become a U.S. citizen.
Becoming a U.S. citizen may not be a bad idea either. TMZ reports that Bieber was booed at a Canadian award show earlier this month, and he didn't even attend.
- Justin Bieber isn't getting deported. Yet. (The Washington Post)
- Justin Bieber's DUI Arrest: 5 Legal Lessons (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Can a DUI Result in Deportation? (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Rejected! 5 Weird White House 'We the People' Petitions (FindLaw's Legally Weird)