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No, the White House won't be deporting Justin Bieber

PoliticsJustin BieberImmigration

The request: Kick Justin Bieber out of the United States of America.

The White House's response: No.

In case you hadn't been paying close attention to Bieber's citizenship status lately -- and really, who is? -- someone launched a petition on the White House's website in January asking officials to deport the 20-year-old Canadian pop megastar after his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence and resisting arrest in Miami Beach.

"We would like to see the dangerous, reckless, destructive, and drug abusing, Justin Bieber deported and his green card revoked," read the plaintive prompt, which was mostly grammatical. "He is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nations [sic] youth."

The petition earned more than 273,000 signatures on the White House's website since January, making it one of the most popular such petitions and eclipsing other issues, like calls for cleaner air (14,035 signatures) and tougher regulations on Wall Street (23,851 signatures).

That total also easily crossed the 100,000-signature threshold requiring the White House to respond, at least under its self-imposed rules.

And respond the White House did this week, rising to meet a mass of constituents calling for cultural justice by bringing its own, uniquely eloquent voice to the debate.

"We won’t be commenting on this one," the White House said.

Oh, OK.

The White House response went on to explain that the terms of its petition service say "the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government in its response to a petition."

Unofficial translation: Yadda yadda yadda, we'll let the courts deal with Bieber if he ever gets charged with a felony. Which Bieber hasn't been. Which means he's probably staying put, at least according to the immigration experts the Los Angeles Times has interviewed.

So there you have it: Democracy at work.

In other news, U.S. deportations are down 40% since 2009, though mistreatment of immigrant detainees remains a serious problem, advocates say.

Meanwhile, a petition to stop the deportation of U.S. veterans had 1,066 signatures on the White House's website as of Sunday afternoon.

According to the White House, that request needs 98,934 more signatures by Tuesday to get an official response.

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