Americans tend to have a rosy image of our neighbors to the north, and for many it feels funny to say the words "Canadian" and "high-octane drag racing" in the same sentence. But thanks to Canadian teen pop sensation Justin Bieber, our perceptions might be changing. Yesterday, Bieber was arrested for racing a yellow Lamborghini in Miami Beach while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Days earlier, he allegedly egged his neighbor's house in Calabasas, California, causing $20,000 in damage.
As law-abiding American citizens, what are we supposed to do? Should we write his misdeeds off as youthful indiscretions? Or should we ship his butt back to Canada, where it belongs? And on a more serious note, if we're able to brush off a pop star's felony-level shenanigans, what happens to immigrants who aren't famous, or who are long-undocumented uncles of U.S. presidents? To help answer this question, we've collected some expert opinions from around the web. Whether or not you're a belieber, leave your opinion in the comments section below, or tweet it @BostonComment.
Should we deport Justin Bieber?
Would the punishment even fit the crime?
Look, America, you can deport Justin Bieber to Canada, but we'd just put him in the penalty box for five minutes and then let him go.— Mark Campbell (@MrWordsWorth) January 24, 2014
We need to be understanding
Hey monsters. I know everyone today is taking about Justin's arrest and all sorts of words and judgements are happening on the Internet. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and to stand up for themselves, but I think we should be supportive of Beliebers. They deserve, just like any other fan, to feel strong for each other and Justin so they can continue to share the bond they have through music. We may not understand everything celebrities do because there's only so much we see, but Justin and Beliebers were 'born this way' too. Let's spread love and compassion to Beliebers today. That is what we are all about. Can you trend #MonstersSupportBeliebers ?
Lady Gaga, @ladygaga
He doesn't know how lucky he is
It’s worth keeping in mind that non-citizen U.S. residents have been deported for much less than what Bieber’s being accused of here. Getting caught with a blunt, peeing in public, accidentally identifying oneself as a citizen instead of a permanent resident—these are the kinds of extremely minor infractions which the U.S. has used as catalysts to deport hundreds of thousands of non-citizens and undocumented immigrants every year. In fact, the vast majority of those the U.S. has deported in recent years have no criminal record, and among those who were deported for committing a crime, the vast majority of those convictions were for non-violent offenses. So good luck, Bieber!
Julianne Hing, @juliannehing
"Justin Bieber Faces Possible Deportation for Egging Crimes," Colorlines
Won't someone please think of the children!
Petition to deport Justin Bieber and revoke his green card. Horrible influence on our youth. http://t.co/gw9PiHBqUl— Mary Lucas (@marketermary) January 24, 2014
He'll stay because he's rich and white
[Deportation is] unlikely because this is JBiebs, a filthy-rich, white guy with enough social and financial capital to buy this person a new egg-free house and make a TV show about it. Heck, if he actually got deported, I bet Justin Bieber could get his legions of preteen fans to carry him back across the border from Canada on their backs. The point is that this incident will not keep Justin Bieber out of the country for long (sad face).
What boils my blood is that if he had been brown and poor, it could have gotten him deported and banned for life. Plenty of undocumented immigrants see their families torn apart for much smaller offenses.
"Justin Bieber Won't be Deported Because He's Rich and White" Feministing
Even immigrants make mistakes
The treatment of Justin Bieber has proven that an immigrant can make mistakes and not be slapped with outrageously steep fines by the justice system, or be detained and deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
We demand that ALL undocumented immigrants be treated the same way.
We're Beliebers that this form of justice will prevail and that this becomes reflective of the change President Obama promised us.
Jesus Iñiguez, Moveon.org
"Treat all immigrants like Justin Bieber"
Some final advice for Bieber
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