January 24, 2014


Could Justin Bieber Actually Get Deported?

Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Justin Bieber's increasingly bad behavior has raised the eyebrows of America over the last year, but his arrest Thursday morning for alleged drag racing, DUI and resisting arrest took things to the next level of "problem child." And as Beliebers got #FreeJustin and #PrayforJustin trending on Twitter, the haters started a hashtag that's turned into an actual petition to the White House: Deport Justin Bieber and revoke his special visa for residing in the U.S.

Keep in mind that anyone can petition the government, and this particular petition has a paltry 5,000 signatures in one day, which isn't that many for someone as culturally ubiquitous as Bieber.

But if his run-ins with the law get much worse, there could be legal grounds to deport him. Right now, his on-record troubles include Thursday's escapade and his alleged involvement in the "vandalism" case (i.e., egging) from a few weeks ago. Even taken as a whole, those incidents aren't likely to get him deported.

What could get him deported? If Bieber was convicted of a felony assault or a convicted of a drug charge, that would be a "big problem" for his U.S. visa, an immigration attorney tells the L.A. Times. And although Bieber currently doesn't face any drug charges, Miami police say he admitted to smoking marijuana after they pulled him over. And California cops found illegal drugs "in plain sight" when they raided his house on January 14 (but Lil Za, not Bieber, was charged for that).

In short, Bieber's not going to get deported because of what happened yesterday, no matter how many signatures that petition gets. But if he's convicted of felony assault (attacking a photographer, for instance) or convicted of a drug charge, a successful case for his deportation is much more likely.

Also worth considering: Bieber is currently in the U.S. on a special visa for his "extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics." But if he follows through on that threat to retire from "the arts," that special visa might seem a little outdated.