The “Deport Justin Bieber” petition has now hit the magic 100,000 signatures necessary to trigger some sort of response from the White House.
It is now less than a week since Justin Bieber was arrested in Miami Beach, and more than 100,000 people have signed a White House petition to have the Canadian singer deported.
Justin Bieber, was charged with driving under the Influence of alcohol (DUI), resisting arrest. and having an expired driver’s license, after he was seen drag racing with fellow musician Khalil Sharieff at around 4.00 am on Thursday.
Bieber is living in the U.S. with an O-1 visa. This is a special visa issued in exceptional circumstances to anyone with “extraordinary ability or achievement” in their field, including the arts.
A conviction for an aggravated offense almost always ensures that the visa will be revoked. This, in turn, sets of the process whereby immigration officials act to deport the individual.
The wording of the online petition is as follows:
“We the people of the United States feel that we are being wrongly represented in the world of pop culture. 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 nation’s youth. We the people would like to remove Justin Bieber from our society.”
But, according to the Associated Press, the Miami arrest is unlikely to affect Bieber’s immigration status.
Apparently, U.S. immigration law states that authorities do not revoke an individual’s visa unless the person has been convicted of a violent crime, or been sentenced to more than one year imprisonment.
The law states that, for a first DUI offense, there is no minimum sentence and a maximum of six months, a fine of $250 to $500, and 50 hours of community service.
If you are under 21, there is an automatic six-month license suspension. A first conviction for drag racing carries a sentence of up to six months, a fine of $500 to $1,000 and a one-year license suspension.
Immigration attorney Ira Kurzban says that Bieber is “not subject to deportation because of a DUI offense, nor is driving with an expired license a deportable offense.”
Neither will these offenses keep Bieber from being re-admitted into the United States. Bieber’s court appearance is scheduled for Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. but he is not required to be present for that arraignment. Roy Black, his attorney, can handle the proceedings on his behalf.
Although the goal of 100,000 signatures has been achieved, the White House has not yet given its response to the petition, an obligation it has once the signature goal has been met.
So, at this time, it seems that the chances of deporting Justin Bieber back to Canada are pretty slim.
Which begs the question – does Canada want him back, anyway?