White House May Have To Respond To Justin Bieber Deportation Petition
An online petition urging the US to deport Justin Bieber has crossed a critical threshold, and now requires a response according to the White House’s own rules. But the Obama administration has been slow to respond to many petitions; and it is unlikely that the pop star is going anywhere anyway.
The petition on We The People, the White House’s official site for online petitions, quickly gained the 100,000 signatures necessary for a response (the program gives 30 days to gather the signatures; this petition needed less than a week). By Friday morning, it had gathered over 220,000 digital signatures.
Entitled “deport Justin Bieber and revoke his green card,” it describes the Canadian-born pop star as a threat to public safety and national image:
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 nations [sic] youth. We the people would like to remove Justin Bieber from our society.
Bieber was arrested in Miami recently after being pulled over for speeding, and then admitting to drinking and taking prescription drugs, and resisting arrest. He is also under investigation for vandalism after allegedly egging a neighbor’s house in California.
But neither of these crimes are likely to meet the standards for deportation. Crimes usually must be “aggravated felonies” or reflect “moral turpitude” to be grounds for the revocation of legal immigration status. And under federal law, only more serious crimes would trigger a review of his status.
The We The People site has been more popular than the White House originally imagined- perhaps to the administration’s dismay. When introduced in 2011, only 5,000 signatures were required for a response. This proved so low a threshold, it was raised to 25,000, and then 100,000 within 30 days.
Petitions have ranged from marijuana legalization to gun control to building a Death Star.