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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Opinion

Petition to deport Bieber distracts White House from more important issues


Petition

Francis Emelogu // The Daily Cougar

As much as people seem to hate Justin Bieber, they talk about him pretty often. This time, the White House was among those discussing him.

According to the White House website, it has “no comment” on a January petition to deport Bieber and revoke his green card, which received 273,968 signatures.

The petition was created in response to his arrest in January on charges of DUI and drag racing, according to the Huffington Post.

I understand that Bieber isn’t the most morally upright person to enter this country, but I’m surprised that so many people felt strongly enough to attempt to deport him. With all the other important causes that could have gained recognition, Bieber took precedence.

Rallying together to deport a pop star whose career is likely falling apart anyway seems ridiculous. There are people living in this country who have done much worse.

With the numbers of unrecognized White House petitions, I’m disappointed that the one on Bieber received enough signatures for consideration. While I’m glad the White House declined to take action upon the matter, the petition was likely a waste of their time. They could have handled much more important issues.

According to the “We the People Terms of Participation,” the White House will review petitions that reach the 100,000-signature minimum within 30 days. It may elect to respond “no comment,” as with the Bieber petition, “to avoid the appearance of improper influence.”

If everyone hates Bieber so much, they should stop paying attention to him. The more his name gets dragged around, the longer he will continue to be in the limelight for foolish behavior. Instead of analyzing Bieber’s mistakes, the White House should be focusing on issues that have direct effects on U.S. citizens, such as the federal deficit and possible improvements to health care.

There are several petitions currently on the We the People website that argue for equality and human rights issues and yet struggle to reach even 1,000 signatures. Moreover, a petition fighting for the legal recognition of non-binary genders was recreated three separate times before it reached the 100,000-signature mark.

Those who signed the deportation petition act like Bieber is the worst human being that has ever walked on earth.

This petition managed to get 273,698 signatures. If that many people banded together for important causes, major social change would be more feasible. The White House would be forced to pay attention to the issues that U.S. citizens hold significant. The White House surely does not care about Bieber, especially not enough to deal with the process of deporting him.

According to Time Magazine, Bieber currently lives in the U.S. on an O-1 visa for “individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry.” Violent crime or sentences up to one year would be the only reason for his visa to be re-evaluated, according to U.S. immigration law. The Huffington Post reports that he is scheduled to go on trial on May 5 in Florida. As is normal for celebrities, it is unlikely that he will face high punishment.

Yes, Bieber has been a bad example in the media, but I do not believe his reckless behavior warrants a petition to kick him out of the country. Despite the fact that he may have caused embarrassment to the U.S., sending him back to Canada won’t end his streak of bad behavior.

I’m glad the White House declined to take action on this petition. If it begins to pay attention to the newest pop culture train wreck, then every celebrity embarrassment would be out of luck. I’m surprised there isn’t a petition in support of forcing James Franco or Lindsay Lohan to leave the country.

While the White House gave an appreciation for the concern with immigration laws in its statement, it is assumed that Bieber isn’t a threat to the American people. Examples of true immigration concern would be support for increased border control or tighter security, not deporting any foreign celebrity who decides to act recklessly.

The White House has enough work to do; let’s not clutter their inbox any longer. Take the pop star gossip back to TMZ.

Opinion columnist Amber Hewitt is a print journalism sophomore and may be reached at [email protected]

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