It’s no secret that the possibility of Justin Bieber’s deportation has been a hot topics in the news lately. The Canadian pop star’s recent arrest for DUI has infuriated thousands across the country. So much so in fact, that a petition to the White House titled, “Deport Justin Bieber and Revoke His Green Card,” was signed by over 240,000 people. As a rule, the White House must address any petition signed by over 100,000 people.
The question at hand in this case is can the United States actually deport Justin Bieber? In this blog we will take a look at some of the criteria that qualify a person for deportation.
According to published reports, Bieber is currently in the United States on an O-1 nonimmigrant visa. The O-1 visa category is for individuals who possess an extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics.
A person can be deported, now referred to as “removed,” from the United States on several grounds. They are:
• The person was inadmissible at the time of entry. This typically happens when a person enters the U.S. under false pretenses, such as using an expired passport, not disclosing previous criminal charges, etc.
• The person violated his or her status while in the U.S. In this case the person may have overstayed on their visa or worked without proper authorization.
• The person becomes a public charge. A person is considered a public charge when they rely solely on the government to support themselves.
• Failure to register or falsifying documents. Using fraudulent documents, failing to notify the government of address changes or lying about your immigrant status can be grounds for deportation.
• Illegal voting. Only U.S. citizens have the right to vote in elections here.
• Criminal grounds. The last ground for removal is also the most serious – removal based on criminal activity. Several criteria for removal based on criminal activity are discussed below.
• The person can be removed if they were convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude within five years of their admission and the crime committed may impose a sentence of one year or longer.
• An individual may also be removed if they committed two crimes of moral turpitude that were on separate occasions.
• Additionally, a person may be removed if they are convicted of an aggravated felony such as murder, drug trafficking, etc.
When determining removal based on criminal grounds, an immigration judge must decide whether or not the crime involves “moral turpitude.” Moral turpitude is defined as conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals. In other words, the person committing the crime had evil intentions. Some of these crimes include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, theft, fraud and conspiracy.
You may have noticed driving under the influence is not on the list of crimes involving moral turpitude. This is often surprising to many. However, a 2004 Supreme Court ruling found that a DUI is not a crime of violence because there is no purposeful intent to harm another person or to commit driving under the influence. Since Justin Bieber’s crime does not involve moral turpitude, it would likely not be found to rise to the level required for removal.
If you have a question regarding deportation or any other immigration issues, please schedule a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys today!