Petition to deport Justin Bieber may be reviewed by White House
January 29th, 2014
05:17 PM ET
4 years ago

Petition to deport Justin Bieber may be reviewed by White House

(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.

Read more about the potential legal battles he could face.

White House and Bieber–they go way back

Not long after Bieber was discovered, he got a high-profile gig to sing alongside Usher at the 2009 "Christmas in Washington," which the President attends each year. Bieber also performed at the event in 2011.

And Bieber sang his hit song "Baby" at the White House Easter Egg Roll in 2010.

President Obama once recalled a story about mispronouncing the young singer's name at the 2009 Christmas performance.

"There was this little guy who really sang well, great entertainer. And I was sort of acknowledging all the crowd, and I said, "And give it up for Justin 'Biber'," Obama said at a DNC event in April 2011. "I didn't know him at the time. And everybody yelled, 'It's 'Beeber'."

He added that his two young daughters, Malia and Sasha, were "mortified when they heard that I had mispronounced his name."

He also teased Arne Duncan, his secretary of education, for playing basketball at a celebrity tournament, "where he was outscored by Justin Bieber."

"I'm just saying, Justin is, like, about 5'2", so please give him a hard time for that if you get a chance," Obama said in March, 2011 at an event in Boston.

A look through White House transcripts shows that the President also publicly mentioned Bieber just days before his re-election victory in 2012, Obama took the stage at an event in Ohio, where he thanked one of the attendees, named Erin.

"She was pretty excited about meeting me, but she saw Justin Bieber the other day," he said, to laughter. "So I'm like the second-most exciting person she's met in the last few days."

He was asked by an Australian student in November 2011 whether he would consider "teaming up with a high-profile celebrity such as Justin Bieber to appeal to more people."

"You know, that's an interesting question," Obama said in response. "I interact a lot with celebrities...But generally speaking, hopefully if I'm going to be successful, it's going to be because of the ideas I put forward and not because I'm hanging out with Justin Bieber."

As the audience laughed, he added: "Although he is a very nice young man, and I'll tell him you said hi." (Note: This was before Bieber veered off into his current downward spiral)

CNN's Ashley Killough, Catherine E. Shoichet, and Elise Labott contributed to this report.

Filed under: Canada • White House
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Newspaper boy

    Poor kid. I think he suffers from affluenza

    January 29, 2014 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  2. TT E

    I am a Canadian and I'm totally floored at this twits actions, he has so much to be thankful for and to represent being a Canadian in this way is humiliating and an embarrassment. Not only did the United States make him what he is today musically but we Canadians supported him too and this is what he does for his thanks. Shame on you little man. I have a young niece that idolizes you and she no longer does because of what you now represent which is mere self destruction and carelessness and it's apparent you don't give a crap about your fans.

    January 29, 2014 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. Craig

    While his "Crimes" may not typically qualify for deportation, clearly he CAN be deported for lying on his visa application. Clearly he doesn't have "extraordinary ability" in the arts, and on that basis alone he should be sent out of the country. BTW, lying on a Visa application IS a valid reason to revoke the visa and deport.

    January 29, 2014 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  4. Silence DoGood

    Finally – an issue both liberals and conservatives can agree on.

    January 29, 2014 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  5. don in albuquerque

    Ya know, anybody here who is a foreign citizen, then commits a crime, any crime, should be shipped the next morning.

    January 29, 2014 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  6. Thomas

    "extraordinary ability" in the arts."

    We have fallen to a new low when it comes to the arts .

    Cool gold glove , dose the Biebs eat with it on ?

    January 29, 2014 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. po

    hes not a bad influence id like to see the petition to keep justin bieber in the states

    January 29, 2014 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  8. shirlsie

    why will Justin do that because he was my favorite singer but I hate him know I love Austin

    January 29, 2014 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  9. drake mallard

    hey Canada take Rafael Cruz aka ted back also

    Um, Ted Cruz's father was not American at the time of his birth. He was Cuban. That's right... who happily fought alongside Fidel Castro as a teen TED CRUZ's FATHER IS A CUBAN. Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, who immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba, told NPR that though he came to the country legally, he essentially bribed an official to get out of Cuba so he could come over.In an interview near his home outside Dallas, the elder Cruz says that as a teenager, he fought alongside Fidel Castro’s forces to overthrow Cuba’s U.S.-backed dictator, Fulgencio Batista. He was caught by Batista’s forces, he says, and jailed and beaten before being released. It was 1957, and Cruz decided to get out of Cuba by applying to the University of Texas. Upon being admitted, he adds, he got a four-year student visa at the U.S. Consulate in Havana. And his mother was an American. And he was born in Calgary Alberta. I don't know how having a Cuban father makes you more American than Obama somehow.

    January 29, 2014 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  10. stopdrinkingthekoolaid

    "extraordinary skills" in what – causing trouble and getting arrested?

    January 29, 2014 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  11. Winston Smith

    The people of the nation really show their stupidity when they allow this kind of individual access to, and sometimes control over their lives. He's a member of the entertainment society, (and not really all that good at what he does), yet his every move is followed by the media as if Christ himself had come back from the beyond to save us all. Please grow up.

    January 29, 2014 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote OUT the Repub/tea bag majority

    Holy crap, if being "dangerous, reckless, destructive, and drug abusing" were the only criteria for deporting someone, Rush Limbaugh should have been shipped off to the nearest insane asylum a long time ago! (I know that's no another country, but at least he'd be out of the public arena.)

    January 29, 2014 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  13. Thomas

    Conflicts, disasters, record high temperatures, an economic chill in Asia and more trouble for Justin Bieber - the upcoming Year of the Horse is set to be a dramatic one, say Hong Kong feng shui masters.

    January 29, 2014 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  14. lisa

    send him someplace else, we don't want him back.

    January 29, 2014 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  15. JollyGreenJoshy

    He should absolutely be arrested if anything. He was a minor who had been consuming alcohol while driving under the influence of a miscelaneous perscription drug. I've heard a lot of people defending him because he was under the legal limit. He's 19 and has no legal right to drink – this is still a DUI and a minor in consumption. This isn't Canada, the drinking age is 21.

    January 29, 2014 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  16. Adee

    Your ratings are going in the toilet and yet you continue to cover a spoiled 19 y/o instead of news that really matters. I used to be a big fan of CNN but you have gone off the tracks. At one time you were the oasis in cable news because Fox and MSNBC were equally biased in their coverage and CNN could be depended on to give just the facts. Now you stink. Trying Al Jazeera now because at least they report the news that matters with no spin. Also.THE PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT BEIBER DON'T VIEW CNN

    January 29, 2014 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  17. Bill from GA

    If we're deporting dangerous Canadians, how bout we send Sen. Cruz back!! Talk about a bad influence.

    Ol Bieb is just having his Jim Morrison moment: Go to Miami and get into trouble.

    January 30, 2014 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  18. stephan michaelson

    Justin beiber is crying out for help deport him right what about the world if the answer is deportation then any one who has done wrong should be locked away. Open ur eyes he needs help entertainers get caught up in bad things. I blame this on publicists managets body guards and everyone in his camp.. those people should be checked out better make sure temptation is not around.

    January 30, 2014 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  19. Anonymous

    This really isn't fair , I mean he's done bad things but really deport him? Why make it a big deal? Just make him go to jail or something .. Besides he's done so many good things y'all should think about that on the bright side too!

    January 30, 2014 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  20. Matt

    A waste of perfectly good paper...

    January 30, 2014 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  21. Marie MD

    Send him back to Canada and make sure rafaelito drives him so they both are not allowed back in the US.
    This little nothing punk should have been put in jail when he hit not one but two MD state troopers with water balloons at a state fair when he was just getting started.
    He's a lohan wannabe and he's going down the right (wrong) path!

    January 30, 2014 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  22. Dallas

    Seriously this dude lost his rights to live free in the United States deport him now

    January 30, 2014 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    He's only 5'2" tall? Anyone remember that song "Short People"? We don't like 'em. Deport 'em.

    January 30, 2014 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  24. Wake up People!

    Drake Mallard get out of my head!!
    All I could think of is forget this kid, deport Rafael Cruz ASAP!

    January 30, 2014 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  25. Lida

    I could forgive the drinking and drugging if he was only a decent human being. Justin Bieber has proven himself a jerk who doesn't treat his fans, neighbors, or employees with respect. So what if he can sing? We have plenty of American singers already who would appreciate his fame and fortune, and undoubtedly handle it with more grace and aplomb. He is a dirty, brown stain on the underwear of America.

    January 30, 2014 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
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