Justin Bieber deportation petition to get official White House response
Published Wednesday, January 29, 2014 9:04AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 29, 2014 4:02PM EST
More than 116,000 Americans have signed a petition asking the White House to deport Canadian pop star Justin Bieber, meaning the White House must now craft an official response.
Following his recent arrest and DUI charge in Miami, a petition was launched on the White House ‘We the People’ website on Jan. 23, asking American officials to revoke Bieber's green card.
"We the people of the United States feel that we are being wrongly represented in the world of pop culture," the petition reads. "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," it continues.
The White House must provide an official response if a petition reached 100,000 signatures; the Bieber petition hit that crucial threshold on Wednesday morning.
But the petition showed no signs of slowing down by mid-afternoon, when total number of signatures reached nearly 117,000.
Bieber's Miami arrest is the latest in a string of recent missteps for the teenage pop star.
The pop star made headlines last year for clashing with a paparazzo, being photographed smoking marijuana, and abandoning a pet monkey in Germany. Earlier this month, detectives searched his California home looking for evidence that the singer was involved in an incident of egg-tossing vandalism that allegedly caused thousands of dollars in damage to a neighbour's home.
Police have said that Bieber remains under investigation in that case, which could result in a felony vandalism charge. He is due to answer to the DUI charge in a Florida over on Valentine’s Day, after the judge set a Feb. 14 arraignment date.
Just days after his arrest, 19-year-old Bieber was been spotted vacationing in Panama.
The petition’s momentum prompted inquiries from reporters covering Washington Wednesday:
Justin Bieber was just brought up in the State Department briefing. I am no longer a Belieber in humanity.— Ali Weinberg (@AliABCNews) January 29, 2014
While the deportation petition has generated plenty of interest on both sides of the border, a Canadian-American immigration lawyer says it's unlikely that the initiative will actually be successful.
"The White House does not have any real authority to deport an individual that it deems undesirable," Henry Chang wrote on his blog Wednesday.
Chang said even if Bieber is convicted of the DUI or felony vandalism, it is unlikely that he would be removed from the United States.
Other petitions that have garnered a response from White House staff in recent weeks included a requested that the government cancel Jimmy Kimmel Live following a controversial joke about China. Another asked Washington to honour pediatric cancer patients.
Last year, the White House rejected a petition that proposed the United States build its very own "death star", and noted that the administration "does not support blowing up planets."