Posted: 4:09 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014
By Beth Sobol
For Justin Bieber’s American fans, the scariest part of their idol’s current legal drama isn’t that he may have egged his neighbors house to the tune of $20,000 in damages or that his best friend, L’il Za, was allegedly found with drugs. It’s the rumor that Justin —being Canadian — could potentially be deported if charged with a crime.
But is there any truth to the deportation buzz? To find out, Wetpaint Entertainment spoke exclusively with immigration attorney Harlan York, who gave us his thoughts on whether or not The Biebs could be forced out of the U.S..
One thing’s certain, says York. If Bieber is charged with a crime, his legal team will do everything they can to protect Justin’s immigration status. And that means hiring an expert. “Any seasoned criminal defense attorney handling the charges will certainly consult a veteran immigration lawyer,” explains York. “Any and all effects of the accusations against Mr. Bieber would be fully investigated.”
Worth noting? Justin isn’t even a U.S. citizen yet. He holds a temporary O-1 visa, which grants the right to live in the United States due to a person’s “extraordinary ability” — in Justin’s case, his talent.
So does all this mean he’s about to be kicked back to Canada? Exhale, Beliebers. York says there’s probably nothing to worry about…yet.
“It’s too soon to say anything at this point,” York notes, “because we don’t know what the charges – if any – will be. But if he’s a first-time offender, the likelihood is that he’s not in any danger of deportation.”
That said, Justin should be careful. “If he keeps getting involved with the police,” warns York. “He could find himself in much bigger trouble.”