White House: no comment on Bieber deportation petition
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Washington - Troubled pop star Justin Bieber has had high-profile run-ins with the law recently but the White House doesn't appear set to add to his growing catalogue of woes.
Just under 275,000 people have added their names to a petition on the White House website calling for the Canadian's deportation from the US, easily surpassing the threshold of 100,000 signatures required for presidential consideration.
But the White House said Friday it would not comment, citing terms in its "We the People" program that allows it to decline certain petitions.
Instead, it sought to use the attention given to the petition to argue that an overhaul of the immigration system would spur the US economy and shrink Washington's ballooning deficit by nearly $1 trillion during the next 20 years.
"For those of you counting at home, that's 12.5 billion concert tickets -- or 100 billion copies of Mr Bieber's debut album," the White House said.
"You better believe it," it added, an apparent reference to the "Belieber" term used to describe Bieber's legions of adoring, mostly pre-teen female fans.
The petition was created by a "J.A." in Detroit on January 23, the day Bieber was busted in Miami Beach for alleged impaired driving and illegal drag racing in a flashy Italian sports car.
"We the people of the United States feel that we are being wrongly represented in the world of pop culture," it says.
"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."
Bieber, 20, is understood to be living and working in the United States under a renewable O-1 visa for entertainers, rather than a green card for permanent resident status.
It remains unclear whether Bieber's visa would be affected by his arrest.
Bieber also faces an assault charge in Canada for allegedly striking a limousine driver on the back of the head.
Copyright © 2014 AFP