Justin Bieber won’t be deported because he’s rich and white


I don’t know how this keeps happening, but somehow I’m writing about Justin Bieber again. I couldn’t sing one of his songs if there was a gun pointed at my head, but this kid keeps causing trouble in matters that are close to my heart.

What did he do this time? The singer allegedly egged a house in his neighborhood of Calabasas, California, raking up $20,000 in damage -– a wee bit over the $400 in damages that cross you over into the realm of felony. But here’s the interesting part: JBiebs is a Canadian citizen. This means that, technically speaking, he could be deported. According to Colorlines, this is unlikely:

Of course a decent attorney, which Bieber can certainly afford, will try to get his charges dropped or lowered to a misdemeanor. Bieber also happens to live in California, which limits immigration enforcement’s involvement with the criminal justice system thanks to the TRUST Act, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed in October.

It’s also 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. Maybe someone didn’t come to a full stop at a stop sign, or ICE agents raided their neighborhood without a real search warrant. We already know what happens when we treat people like “illegals” and when families are separated by our immigration system: brown communities suffer at the hands of the Obama administration’s deportation policies. Julianne Hing points out in her Colorlines article that “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 JBiebs is gonna be fine. But millions of undocumented people are waiting for our president to use his executive power to stop deportations, and for our government to pass immigration reform. I don’t know what will happen to them.

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Juliana is so glad that she was a dorky Waldorf kid who never listened to JBiebs.

Bay Area, California

Juliana is a digital storyteller for social change. As a writer at Feministing since 2013, her work has focused on women's movements throughout the Americas for environmental justice, immigrant rights, and reproductive justice. In addition to her writing, Juliana is a Campaigner at Change.org, where she works to close the gap between the powerful and everyone else by supporting people from across the country to launch, escalate and win their campaigns for justice.

Juliana is a Latina feminist writer and campaigner based in the Bay Area.

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