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San Francisco Bay Area Immigration Blog

Justin Bieber Arrest Exposes Unequal Application of U.S. Immigration Laws

Canadian pop star Justin Bieber was arrested in Miami this week.  According to police, Bieber admitted to using marijuana, prescription drugs and alcohol before he drove.  This follows previous recent arrests for which he could have potentially been convicted of possessing/consuming other controlled substances and engaging in other deportable crimes in the US.  While some of Bieber’s alleged acts could result in deportable convictions, most agree that will likely never face removal proceedings in part due to the fact that Bieber is a celebrity and can afford expensive lawyers.

Justin Bieber arrest exposes an inequity in the US immigration court system.  According to a Harvard University report, 84 % of immigrants – many of whom have been arrested for similar or less serious offenses – face deportation and represent themselves without a lawyer in immigration court.  Diana Scholl, of the ACLU, argues in a recent blog post that “If convicted, another immigrant in (Bieber’s) situation would very likely languish in immigration detention before being deported.”  Bieber’s recent run-ins with law enforcement exposes how inequitably immigration laws are enforced in the US.