WASHINGTON -- The White House has two words for those who want President Barack Obama to deport Justin Bieber: No comment.
Nearly 275,000 people signed an Internet petition calling the Canadian-born teen idol reckless and asking Obama to revoke his green card. That's far more than required to merit an official response through the White House's "We the People" program.
The White House says it's sorry to disappoint, but it won't be commenting. It's citing a caveat that lets the White House decline to address certain petitions.
"To avoid the appearance of improper influence, the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government in its response to a petition," explains a note on the White House petition website laying out the system's terms of participation.
But the White House is using the occasion to argue that an immigration overhaul could shrink deficits by nearly $1 trillion over two decades. The White House says that's equivalent to 12.5 billion concert tickets -- or 100 billion copies of Bieber's debut album.
"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. Too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers, and 11 million people are living in the shadows," the note says. "That status quo isn't good for our economy or our country. We need common-sense immigration reform to make sure everyone plays by the same set of rules."
Posted by: Lindsay Sax