The White House has responded to the call to deport Justin Bieber from the US by saying: “We won’t be commenting”.
Since January almost 275,000 US citizens have added their names to a petition on the White House website calling on President Barack Obama to revoke the Canadian-born singer’s green card.
The number surpasses the 100,000 signatures required for presidential consideration.
But the White House said it would not comment, citing terms in its ‘We the People’ petition programme that allows it to decline certain petitions.
Instead, it sought to use the attention given to the petition to plug its immigration reform agenda, with a few Bieber references sprinkled in.
The first part of the White House statement said: “Thanks for your petition and your participation in We the People. Sorry to disappoint, but we won’t be commenting on this one …
“So we’ll leave it to others to comment on Mr Bieber’s case, but we’re glad you care about immigration issues. Because our current system is broken.”
The statement added: “Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next 20 years. For those of you counting at home, that’s 12.5 billion concert tickets – or 100 billion copies of Mr Bieber’s debut album.”
It ended saying: “You better believe it,” an apparent reference to the “Belieber” term used to describe Bieber’s legions of adoring, mostly pre-teen fans.
The petition was created by a ‘J.A.’ in Detroit on January 23, the day Bieber was arrested in Miami Beach for alleged driving under the influence and illegal drag racing.
“We the people of the United States feel that we are being wrongly represented in the world of pop culture,” it says.
“We would like to see the dangerous, reckless, destructive and drug-abusing Justin Bieber deported and his green card revoked.
“He is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nation’s youth. We the people would like to remove Justin Bieber from our society.”
Bieber, 20, is understood to be living and working in the US under a renewable visa for entertainers, rather than a green card for permanent resident status.
It remains unclear whether Bieber’s visa would be affected by his arrest.
Bieber also faces an assault charge in Canada for allegedly striking a limousine driver on the back of the head.