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  • Edición impresa de Febrero 4, 2014

 

Reading the Pledge of Allegiance of the United States one encounters the sentence that says: “with Liberty and Justice for all”. It is no wonder that people in the United States protest when they see those two principles violated.

It may sound frivolous to start a deportation request against a 19-year-old artist like Justin Bieber. Nevertheless, the point sought was to highlight the inequalities, and injustice that foreigners go through, especially if they are darker or poorer.

Most people in the United States expect justice for all, and for everyone involved to obey the laws that have been established. We should consider though, that the people in power draw up the laws and they are made to consolidate power around them and care for their interests and properties.

At the time of slavery in this country the laws protected the slave owners because that type of economy was needed. It was not until the rights and interests of the north became evident that there was a generalized push to free the slaves.

After the North won the civil war new laws were drawn. Most people in the South were not ready to follow them because they didn’t feel right to them. During this time there were many protests on both sides until the law and the matter settled down.

It is difficult, both for foreigners and nationals sometimes, to comprehend the steps and channels that are used in order to make a law, and subsequently to apply it and for it to be justice for all.

So going back to the Bieber case. Foreigners in the United States are deported for many reasons, some times even without a real serious reason, but some of the most usual include illegal possession of drugs, aggravated felony and domestic violence. There is section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act that has a comprehensive list of crimes that make a person deportable.

Driving without a license has gotten many people deported, and certainly driving under the influence is one of the crimes that makes immigrants deportable.

Taking this into consideration and having thousands of people deported because of these reasons, it is difficult to understand the position of ICE towards Justin Bieber.

Bieber was street racing when Miami Beach police stopped his vehicle and arrested him on charges of drunk driving, resisting arrest and driving without a license. The 19-year-old, who is an immigrant from Canada, was released hours after his arrest on a $2,500 bond.

Some immigration advocates have argued that many non-white immigrants have been deported for issues less severe than the pop star’s recent arrest on charges of driving under the influence.

Using the White House We the people mechanism a petition was submitted to deport Bieber and by January 22nd, it has more than 239,000 signatures.

According to the White House, the administration must respond promptly after 100,000 signatures are reached.

U.S. press secretary Jay Carney reassured at a routine January 31 press conference that, yes, the White House will address a petition to deport Justin Bieber from the United States and revoke his green card, “as is our commitment.”

Addressing does not mean that they are going to deport the individual. It only states that they are willing to hear the case.

Once more, the point is not whether Bieber gets deported or not, but how all the other thousands of immigrants do not get a chance to stay because they don’t have the means to do so.

Access to come or stay cannot be reduced to a purchasable solution. The contribution of an individual to society cannot be measured just in dollars.

A country is made up of all the parts that make it into a fruitful, abundant place where each and every one expects and gets liberty and justice for all.

 

 


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