Immigration

Conservatives Show Their Hypocrisy on Immigration

Calls to deport Bieber, and other immigrants, ignore the rule of law

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Justin Bieber mugshot
Miami Beach P.D.

Many on the right have been demanding that President Obama crack down on illegal aliens and uphold the rule of law before they'll talk immigration reform. "We are not against all immigration," they insist, "only the illegal kind." If that's the case, they should be defending the right of Canadian singer Justin Bieber to stay in America instead of joining the legally baseless movement demanding his deportation.

Granted, the 19-year-old tween heartthrob is a spoiled brat with multiple crimes against music. (If artistic turpitude were a deportable offense, he would have been on a bus headed north after he released the execrable "Baby.")  But the "Deport Justin Bieber" petition wants the White House to revoke Bieber's O-1 visa, handed to foreigners with extraordinary talent (questionable in his case), for incidents involving drunk driving, simple possession, and throwing eggs at a neighbor's house.

The petition, which was started by some guy on a lark, has already gained 270,000 signatures, forcing the White House to break its silence and respond. But many conservative opponents of comprehensive immigration reform and amnesty are also supporting it. National Review urged its readers to sign it. The Weekly Standard commented that if the White House can't "deport that punk, then how can we ever trust them to control the borders?" Laura Ingraham, a fierce amnesty opponent, gave the petition, which declares Bieber "a terrible influence on our nation's youth," a nod.

But there are problems with this movement more serious than the naïve belief that sending Bieber across the squiggly lines on a map would protect America in the age of globalization. Chief among them is that it would require President Obama to exert executive powers that he constitutionally doesn't have. Indeed, even more than those he asserted to effectively rewrite Obamacare by unilaterally suspending politically inconvenient mandates, something conservatives rightly deplore.

It is a little known fact, but in the last two decades, 10 percent of all deportees have been legals– 68 percent for minor offenses. That's because since 1996, "aggravated felonies" and "moral turpitude" for which foreigners with valid visas and green cards can be deported have become catchall categories including everything from tax evasion to perjury – not just violent crimes, as used to be the case. But one small courtesy that legals do still enjoy is that they have to be convicted before being deported.

Petition supporters claim that if Bieber hasn't yet been convicted, it's only because he's a rich guy who can hire top legal talent to fight for him, a privilege that poor immigrants don't enjoy. That might be true, but that's hardly grounds for waiving his (remaining) due process rights, which is precisely what the White House would have to do in order to evict him right now.

The real irony is that at the same time that right-wingers are encouraging the White House to effectively game the law to eject Bieber, they are also accusing President Obama of gaming the law by not ejecting illegals en masse. But that's a bogus accusation.

The president has earned the dubious distinction as the "Deporter-in-Chief" because he has returned or removed two million illegals – more than any previous president in absolute numbers and at a rate nine times higher than 20 years ago. But anti-immigration conservatives are not impressed. They insist that he's booting out fewer illegals in the interior, focusing instead on fresh arrivals at the border, when he should be doing both.

But here's the problem with that: Thanks to President Bush's and initially Obama's aggressive efforts to evict illegals in the interior, a good portion of the low hanging fruit, arguably, has been picked. The remaining illegals are further under the law enforcement radar. Going after them would require more draconian methods and would produce diminishing bang for the law enforcement buck. In light of that, doesn't it make more sense, even from the odious standpoint of restrictionists, to shift tactics and concentrate on catching immigrants just when they enter? That way fewer will have to be deported from the interior in future, a much more expensive proposition.

Such considerations, however, didn't stop 22 Republican senators last week from dashing off a stern two-page letter to the president, accusing him of displaying an "astonishing disregard for the Constitution [and] the rule of law." His crime? He ordered a review of the nation's deportation policy with the aim of focusing law enforcement resources on violent illegals in the interior while leaving others, especially those with families and American kids, alone, pending immigration reform. This is common sense triage that all executive agencies with finite resources routinely perform. It's also well within the prosecutorial discretion that an executive enjoys.

Conservatives accuse President Obama of bending the law to advance his immigration agenda. That some of them want him to uphold the rule of law when it works against immigrants but not when it works for them, suggests that they are not averse to doing the same. 

NEXT: Brickbat: A Bunch of Duds

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    1. People are idiots.

      You mean other people of course?

      1. I’m pretty sure FoE means us too.

        1. yeah, I just wondered if he thought of himself as a person

  1. petition wants the White House to revoke Bieber’s O-1 visa, handed to foreigners with extraordinary talent

    Ummm… why would any ‘entertainer’ qualify for an O-1 visa? Isn’t that for scientists and engineers?

    1. If the only qualification is extraordinary talent, I can see how a big time entertainer like Justin Bieber qualifies. A lot of people may not think he is that great of a singer/song writer, but if the crowds of -entertained- tweens are anything to go by he is an extraordinarily talented entertainer.

      1. …if the crowds of -entertained- tweens are anything to go by he is an extraordinarily talented entertainer.

        Those crowds are because tweens are easily entertained dipshits, not because of any “extraordinary talent” that bottle of dick possesses.

    2. Ummm… why would any ‘entertainer’ qualify for an O-1 visa? Isn’t that for scientists and engineers?

      With the number of politicians, regulators, and entertainers masquerading as scientists and engineers, I think this is a lost cause.

  2. If Obama can deport Bieber without authority can Bieber do likewise?

    1. That’d be a fight to watch – Obots versus Beliebers…

      1. That Venn Diagram has a lot of overlap.

        1. Makes it even more fun and full of schadenfreude!

  3. This is a corollary to Obama’s drone process powers. If he can kill, he can deport.

  4. Does America dare deport Bieber? Doesn’t anyone remember what happened the last time an American blamed Canada for corrupting youth?

    1. That American was forced to drink hemlock?

  5. Is this really an issue, especially one worth writing an article about?

    1. Of course. Anything to stoke the fires of teh OPen Borderz!! derpitudes.

  6. Hypocrisy? I thought it was a trolololololol moment.

    1. +1 Best Thing From the Fall of the Iron Curtain.

  7. That some of them want him to uphold the rule of law when it works against immigrants but not when it works for them, suggests that they are not averse to doing the same.

    So, business as usual.

  8. “Baby” is not that execrable. And I love it when Republicans act so stupid that Shikha has to admit that Obama is not as bad as they are. The truth is a cruel mistress, sweetheart.

    1. There’s a thin line between contrarian and idiot. If you look behind you, you might be able to see that line in the distance.

      1. Nah, he too far over it to even see it anymore.

  9. Rule of Law?

    That’s, like, from before Game of Thrones, dude.

    1. Words are wind.

  10. “…it would require President Obama to exert executive powers that he constitutionally doesn’t have.”

    I had to laugh. Since when is that a problem?

  11. O-1 visa, handed to foreigners with extraordinary talent

    Here’s why you deport him. This has never been proven and will never be proven, therefore he got his visa via fraudulent means.

    1. He has an extraordinary talent to make little girls pee themselves. And in a few years, he’ll be performing acts only you could imagine in a cheap motel room with Leif Garrett and a so far unidentified third party. He’s your future muse and you don’t even know it

      1. I’d be fine with him if he just abandoned the pretense of being a musician. He’s a bleached-scrubbed kinderwhore for 9-year-olds who obviously have way too much disposable income.

        A car crash needs to take him out before it’s finally revealed that he’s just Ellen Page wearing a diverter.

        1. Ellen Page with a diverter… My teenage daughter lol’ed too.

          She’d tell her friends but then she’d have to ‘splain the diverter thing, and she’d rather not.

          1. I take it you guys go sailing or hiking often.

      2. To paraphrase Denis Leary: “He’s gonna end up in a hotel room with a hooker and an 8-ball. Oh yeah, he’s actually gonna be all the way up inside the hooker’s vagina!”

    2. While I personally believe that Bieber has no talent, what makes talent is purely subjective.

      Visas need to be drastically simplified.

  12. Of all the people to give attention too. Justin Beiber? Fuck, take Avril Lavigne.

  13. Will we ever get our priorities straight? This country needs more female Czech tennis players, not “male” Canadian “singers”!

    1. I can definately get behind a higher quota for female Czech tennis players.

    2. I was a fan of Martina’s back in the day too, but get over it man!

    3. Bieber has a butch haircut in the featured pic and you put quotation marks around the word male? In case you didn’t know the hipster/Duck Dynasty/steampunk/ZZ Top/Down East Dickering fad is on it’s way out and alot of women these days wear pants instead of skirts.

      And like Russia, the Czech Republic is a primitive, inbred, borderline-theocratic drunken wasteland. Compared to Switzerland and New Zealand they’re Elbonia from Dilbert.

  14. Much as I dislike placing myself beside people who I feel are anti-hispanic hysterics, I have to agree with their position. Most people and (so far as I can see) all politicians babbling about “Immigration Reform” have no interest in actually changing the laws. They want to grant an amnesty that will, in its aftermath, suck in another hoard of illegal immigrants who will then occupy the exploitive legal limbo that so many are trapped in now. Enforcing the laws as they sta d would seem to be a necessary step towards finding out how they need to change. Also too goddamned many people want the government to be “compassionate” without changing the actual rules and I suspect that many of them would get exposed as exploiters if the rules were followed.

  15. On another subject; like most “teen” stars, Beiber is an annoying prat. I have to say that changing the rules so that the President had the authority to deport, say, one show-business twit per year on grounds of simple annoyance would have entertainment value.

    1. Bring back ostracism.

      1. Bully!

  16. Oh fuck you…. that is all.

  17. Justin Beiber has committed numerous crimes here, some of them with actual victims. Deport him because he broke the law, or send him to jail for those crimes. I’d rather deport him because it is cheaper than incarceration. Why is Shikha defending this guy? Of all the people to deport, he’s a perfect case for it.

  18. What is with this 50 char limit message?

  19. The only inconsistency here is on the part of Dalima.

    1. Perhaps it is mere ignorance of the fact that a visa is not

      1. a do-whatever-the-hell-you-want

        1. -to-do-to-your-neighbors card, from pissing into backstage mop buckets, to racing your car through a residential neighborhood.

  20. the “Deport Justin Bieber” petition wants the White House to revoke Bieber’s O-1 visa, handed to foreigners with extraordinary talent (questionable in his case), for incidents involving drunk driving, simple possession, and throwing eggs at a neighbor’s house.

    How about “because he’s a giant douchebag and we have more than enough of those in this country already.”

    1. Oh, my, yes!

  21. Thanks to President Bush’s and initially Obama’s aggressive efforts to evict illegals in the interior, a good portion of the low hanging fruit, arguably, has been picked.

    Really? “…illegals… low hanging fruit… picked…”

    RRRRRAAAAAAAACIST!!!!1!!11!!!

    1. Missed the “it’s all Bush’s fault” angle. Seems like the kitchen sink is accounted for.

      BTW, why is that picture of Miley Cyrus heading this piece? Even the alt-txt is deceptive. She just had a kerfluffel cage match in Kentucky with Ron Jeremy

  22. Actually Mr Dalmia, Mr Bieber is a guest in this country and like any guest once they have committed a crime such as Mr Bieber has then you can be removed from the country, there is no hypocrisy in that.

    1. One could, on the other hand, argue that we knew Beiber was a young pop-star, which is to say an annyoying self absorbed little prick, when we let him in. So we can’t actually act SURPRISED.

      1. In the same sense as “You knew your brother-in-law was going to get drunk, jump through the sliding glass door and knock the bbq grille into the pool when you invited him over. Now be a good person and let him recover in your guest room for a few months.” Something like that?

        1. More or less.

  23. Two words to refute her lame article:

    Nigella Lawson

    1. She’s cute. I vote she stays.

  24. I think Shikha is taking all of this “Deport Bieber!” talk quite a bit more seriously than the conservatives she cites.

    1. If she is in the DC Beltway, she may have only gotten to talk to that actor they cart around to pretend to be a conservative at cocktail parties.

  25. Oh boy here comes the free market “defenders” telling us why high trade barriers are good as long as it keeps out scary foreigners that might speak Spanish and might use government assistance from time to time!

    1. Here comes the race-baiter who’d be more welcome at a prog site!

  26. Laura Ingraham, NR, and the Weekly Standard were actually being tongue in cheek. Their response is more about mocking the petition system than advocating for actually Bieber.

    The Weekly Standard article is pointing to the WH’s evasiveness on this issue as an indication that they don’t take immigration enforcement seriously. Yeah, they do seem to think it should be a slam dunk for the WH to deport Bieber, but the tone is derisive. I doubt they would actually support denying Bieber due process rights.

    Ingraham (IMO) is merely insisting that WH can’t make exceptions because Bieber is a celebrity. The petition got the required amount of signature, so the WH should “respond”. Officially responding to a petition isn’t technically the same thing actually deporting him.

    Pollowitz says he signed the petition and urged others to “Help save America and sign the petition, too!”, which means he’s being sarcastic.

    Conservatives don’t care about Bieber. They might support the government revoking work visa if there are legal grounds of it. He’s not an American citizen (as far as I understand) and he’s breaking our laws and even suspected of having relationship with minors. But if the INS (or even NSA and IRS) flagrantly infringed on his rights, they won’t stand for that.l

    1. “Laura Ingraham, NR, and the Weekly Standard were actually being tongue in cheek…”

      So that the headline should read:
      “Shikha Shows Her Usual Clueless Hysterics on Immigration”

      It’s the Shikha and Sheldon show, live at Reason.com, 24/7. This place has been going downhill lately. Aren’t there any adults in charge, who can get those two off their inane hobby horses?

  27. ** wink wink **

    )) nudge nudge ((

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