Instead of commenting directly on a popular petition to have bad-boy pop star Justin Bieber deported to Canada, the White House used the controversy to speak about the need for immigration reform.
Responding to the petition filed in January, the White House said Friday, could interfere with any criminal investigations into the teen idol's behavior, said an unsigned response on the Obama administration's "We the People" website
"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 petition answer said.
"Not only is it the right thing to do morally, it’s the right thing for our country: Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next 20 years," the White House said. "For those of you counting at home, that’s 12.5 billion concert tickets — or 100 billion copies of Mr. Bieber’s debut album."
The response then went on to outline Obama's immigration reform plan
, and thanked the petition's writer and signers.
"While we weren’t able to address your direct concerns about Mr. Bieber, we hope you believe your We the People experience was a positive one," the statement said.
Michigan resident Roger Skrzynski II, who created the petition, told The Washington Times
that he doesn't agree with Obama's solution to immigration.
"Maybe lightening up the laws on illegals and giving them all citizenship isn’t the path Americans want because they don’t want people from foreign countries coming here and breaking their laws,” he said.
Skrzynski wrote the petition back in January after Bieber, a Canadian in who is in the United States on a special visa for artists, academics and performers, ran into trouble with the law, including an arrest in Miami Beach for drag racing.
The petition gathered 273,968 signatures in 30 days, and was the second-most signed petition on the White House website, coming in behind a 2012 petition demanding the Westboro Baptist Church be named a hate group.
Bieber's visa will remain valid as long as he isn't convicted of a violent crime, and the pop star's alleged actions haven't met that standard.
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