Since Justin Bieber’s arrest for allegedly drag racing and driving drunk, Americans may be wondering whether the 19-year-old heartthrob could get deported to his native Canada.
The young and apparently troubled Canadian citizen is reportedly living in the United States on an O-1 Visa, which is given to immigrants with “extraordinary” artistic abilities.
That Visa doesn’t give Bieber the ability to stay in America unconditionally, though. Like any other legal immigrant living in the U.S., Bieber can get kicked out if he seriously misbehaves. Specifically, federal law says immigrants can be deported if they get convicted of an aggravated felony, a crime with a prison sentence of one year or more, or a crime of “moral turpitude.” (The law doesn’t spell out what crimes would qualify under that category.)
While Bieber has definitely been misbehaving, he has yet to be charged with an aggravated felony. His DUI and drag racing charges were both first-degree misdemeanours, ABC News points out. And while Bieber was allegedly being reckless and stupid, his actions probably don’t rise to the level of wickedness necessary to qualify as crimes of “moral turpitude.”
Another incident has the potential to get him in more trouble: his alleged egging of a neighbour’s house this month. The neighbour says Bieber caused thousands of dollars worth of damage, which would make the crime a felony under California law that could carry a prison sentence of up to three years.
If Bieber gets convicted of a crime that carries a more than one-year sentence, then he could technically be deported. Of course, Bieber has a lot more resources than the typical immigrant who gets convicted of a felony.
As USA Today reported, “Bieber is a rich and famous foreigner and they generally tend to have good lawyers.”
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