Justin Bieber 'Unlikely' to Be Deported, Says Immigration Expert
The Canadian singer was charged with DUI on Jan. 23 after being pulled over in Miami
While more than 100,000 people have signed a petition asking President Obama to kick the Canadian singer out of the country, an expert tells PEOPLE that it is highly unlikely the 19-year-old will be deported from the U.S. based on his pending charges.
The “Boyfriend” singer was charged with DUI, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license in Florida on Jan. 23, but those charges do not amount to moral turpitude or amoral conduct, according to Miami immigration lawyer Alex Solomiany.
“Since Bieber did nothing serious to hurt another person, it is highly unlikely that he would be removed from the U.S. for the criminal charges he has pending in the Miami case,” Solomiany tells PEOPLE. “This DUI does not involve harming someone else, so he is not deportable.”
Bieber, 19, will be arraigned in Miami on Valentine’s Day.
It’s not the last of his legal troubles: Bieber is currently under investigation for allegedly egging his neighbor’s house in California. Solomiany says that the case, depending on the damages, could prove to be a more serious matter, since it involves hurting others.
Then there is the issue of the pop star’s 0-1 immigration visa, which is given to one with “extraordinary ability” in arts, sciences or other fields.
“Bieber is a guest of the U.S. because of his position in the arts,” Solomiany says. “When it is time to renew, he will still be a guest, and the counselor/officer could have issues with his past behavior.”
A petition on WhiteHouse.gov calling for Bieber’s deportation has received the more than 100,000 signatures needed to secure an official response from the president.
“[Bieber] is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nation’s youth,” the petition reads.
In response, Beliebers started a counter-petition to defend the singer. It states that “he is a human being and he makes mistakes,” and it has attracted 1,500 signatures.
The White House has said it will respond to petitions that garner 100,000 signatures, but there’s no time limit on when that will happen.