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White House must respond to deport-Bieber petition

  • Pop singer Justin Bieber arrives at a police station in Toronto. (REUTERS/Alex Urosevic )

  • Combination photo of booking photos of Canadian teen pop singer Bieber in Miami Beach. (REUTERS/Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department)

A petition asking the Obama administration to deport Canadian pop star Justin Bieber after his arrest last week on a drunken driving charge has passed the 100,000-signature mark needed to require a White House response.

The petition so far has collected over 200,000 signatures since being added by user “J.A. from Detroit” to the White House website on Jan. 23, the same day Bieber was caught drag racing on a residential street in Miami Beach in a rented Lamborghini.

However, it is highly unlikely that Bieber, 19, would be deported, as federal law dictates that a visa could be revoked or denied for a conviction of a violent crime with a one-year, or longer, prison sentence.

Bieber told police after his arrest that he had taken prescription medicine, had been smoking marijuana and had consumed alcohol. If convicted, he could face up to six months in jail, although experts say he will likely get off with a lighter sentence for his first offense.

A spokesman for the singer declined to comment on the petition or say which kind of visa Bieber holds to reside in the United States. He is likely to have an O-1 visa reserved for artists and entertainers.

The singer was also charged with driving on an expired license and resisting arrest without violence. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Miami on Feb. 14.

Bieber’s life off-stage has been rocky in the last year with problems ranging from scuffling with paparazzi in London to a felony investigation into whether he pelted a neighbor’s house with eggs in his gated community near Los Angeles.

It is not known when the White House will respond to the petition.

The petition system was launched in 2011 and has forced the White House to respond to odd topics such as building a “death star” from the “Star Wars” films as a way to create jobs and deporting British TV personality Piers Morgan over pro-gun control comments after the 2012’s Newtown shooting.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 31, 2014, on page 13.

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Summary

A petition asking the Obama administration to deport Canadian pop star Justin Bieber after his arrest last week on a drunken driving charge has passed the 100,000-signature mark needed to require a White House response.

The petition so far has collected over 200,000 signatures since being added by user "J.A. from Detroit" to the White House website on Jan. 23, the same day Bieber was caught drag racing on a residential street in Miami Beach in a rented Lamborghini.

It is not known when the White House will respond to the petition.


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