News Update - February 7, 2014

Article "Justin Bieber Not Deportable For Many Reasons" published in The Epoch Times on February 7, 2014.

Despite a petition with over 100,000 signatures on it to deport Justin Bieber which was presented to the White House to deport him in light of his recent antics, the Department of Homeland Security is a long way from the deportation process and likely to remain so. As reported by CNN, he was recently arrested in Miami Beach and charged with drunk driving, resisting arrest, and driving without a valid license. In addition, the Miami Beach police chief said that Mr. Bieber had made some statements that he had consumed some alcohol, smoked marijuana, and consumed some prescription medication. The CNN report also said that Mr. Bieber faces a felony vandalism charge tied to an egg attack in California.
Under the White House “We the People” petition program, petitions are reviewed by the White House if they meet the 100,000 signature threshold.

The immigration laws require convictions to deport, or admissions of guilt to bar someone who is returning to the United States. In Mr. Bieber’s case, an incident of drunk driving or driving without a valid license is neither a deportable nor excludable offense. Consuming alcohol, smoking marijuana, and consuming prescription medication would also be nonqualifying offenses unless someone was an alcoholic, drug addict, or admitted to or was convicted of marijuana possession of more than 30 grams or the possession/use of other illegal substances. Resisting arrest is generally not a deportable or excludable offense especially where no untoward violence is claimed, and vandalism as a crime against property is not a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). The Board of Immigration Appeals in defining CIMTs has often stated that “moral turpitude refers generally to conduct which is inherently base, vile, or depraved, and contrary to the accepted rules of morality and the duties owed between persons or to society in general.” One would also believe that a person with Mr. Bieber’s wealth would be able to acquire adequate legal representation to have the charges dropped or lowered and to advise him against making incriminating statements of any barring offenses whenever he enters the States.

Generally to bar someone from the U. S., the law requires the admission or conviction of a CIMT of which the top possible sentence would be over one year or the individual sentenced over 6 months. If non-CIMT offenses, there must be more than one along with convictions of which the aggregate sentence must be 5 years or more. To be deported, an individual usually must have been convicted of a CIMT within 5 years after admission for which a sentence of one year or more can be imposed, or convicted of 2 crimes involving moral turpitude if not within the five-year range.

Finally the political will is most likely not in the White House to attempt to move Mr. Bieber onto the road of deportation. The political calculus would not favor Mr. Obama or his administration angering the large throngs of young Bieber followers, many of whom are able to and most of whom will be able to vote in the near future.

So the consensus of opinion here must be that Mr. Bieber is not going anywhere soon. He should of course moderate his behavior to avoid the threat of actions against his immigration status. If and when he becomes a citizen of this country, he would no longer be amenable to the threat of deportation.



The author is a 30+ year practitioner of immigration law based in New York City holding an AV preeminent rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, registered in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, and on the New York Super Lawyers list for 2011-2012 and recognized as a New York Area Top Rated Lawyer in 2012.. He was awarded the Sidney A. Levine prize for best legal writing at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1977 and has written extensively on immigration over the past years for Interpreter Releases, Immigration Daily, and the ethnic newspapers, World Journal, Sing Tao, Pakistan Calling, Muhasba and OCS. He has testified as an expert on immigration in civil court proceedings and was recognized by the Taiwan government in 1985 for his work protecting human rights. His article, "The Bush Temporary Worker Proposal and Comparative Pending Legislation: an Analysis" was Interpreter Releases' cover display article at the American Immigration Lawyers Association annual conference in 2004, and his victory in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in a case of first impression nationwide, Firstland International v. INS, successfully challenged INS' policy of over 40 years of revoking approved immigrant visa petitions under a nebulous standard of proof. Its value as precedent, however, was short-lived as it was specifically targeted by the Bush Administration in the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004.

Copyright © 2003-2014 Alan Lee, Esq.
The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any particular set of facts or circumstances. It should not be construed as legal advice and does not constitute an engagement of the Law Office of Alan Lee or establish an attorney-client relationship.

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