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Could Justin Bieber Be Deported?

Justin Bieber's potential conviction for the egging of his neighbor's home, which reportedly caused $20,000 in damages, is a hot topic right now. Is it true that he could actually be deported? 

The short answer is "yes." If Mr. Bieber is convicted of a crime, it is possible that he will be put into deportation proceedings and ordered removed from the United States.

Reportedly Mr. Bieber is currently here on an O-1 visa. This means he was admitted to the United States as a person of "extraordinary ability" in science, art, education, business, or athletics. To be admitted, he had to demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim in his field (which he likely did through the popularity of his music). The O-1 visa may be issued for up to three years initially and then extended in increments of up to one year to accomplish the purposes of an activity. So, it is possible for Mr. Bieber to remain in the United States indefinitely if he can keep convincing the immigration department (USCIS) that he needs more time to accomplish his purposes here.

However, that possibility goes out the window if Mr. Bieber becomes deportable and is put into removal proceedings. 

According to the United States Code, anyone who is admitted to the U.S. and within five years commits a "crime of moral turpitude" with a possible sentence of one year or more, shall be removed. 

So what is a "crime of moral turpitude?" This is where it gets dicey. This area of immigration law is complex, and the description of the code section that Mr. Bieber is charged with violating will determine the answer. If he is charged with a crime against property that involves "evil intent," such as malicious destruction of property, then it will likely be considered a crime of moral turpitude. 

Even if Mr. Bieber is convicted of a crime of moral turpitude with a potential sentence of one year or more, does that mean that he will definitely be placed into deportation proceedings?

No. The immigration enforcement department has discretion in deciding which cases to prosecute. Therefore, they may decide not to initiate proceedings against him. So, if you have "Bieber Fever," there is still hope for keeping this pop star in the United States!