IF Bieber were charged with a felony and IF he were to be convicted, then his residency status in the USA could be affected.

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Bad-boy Justin Bieber's antics may have started out as amusing but lately the escalation in his misbehavior - charges of DUI, drag racing and resisting arrest - puts him closer to the possibility that America's unamused immigration authorities might deport him back to his Canadian birthplace.

Which wouldn't be the worst thing to happen for either him or his California neighbors, or even Canada. After all, the Biebs once joked to Rolling Stone that he would never become an American citizen because Canada is so much better.

"You guys are evil," he said in 2011. "Canada's the best country in the world. We go to the doctor and we don't need to worry about paying him, but here, your whole life, you're broke because of medical bills."

Out of the mouth of babes. Bieber was 17 when he said that and he's still a month short of 20.

This deportation issue comes up, and not for the first time, after Bieber's latest antics, again involving Thursday's drag racing incident and his allegedly bad-neighbor behavior in Calabasas, Calif., the gated celeb enclave where he lives when he's not on tour and misbehaving somewhere else.

A few weeks back detectives searched his home looking for surveillance footage that might serve as evidence he was involved in an egg-tossing vandalism case that caused thousands of dollars in damage to a neighbor's home.

After the search (by a dozen investigators), one member of Bieber's entourage was arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession. Bieber was there and cooperative but was not arrested, and his interview was postponed until his lawyers could be present.

IF Bieber were charged with a felony and IF he were to be convicted, then his residency status in the USA could be affected. Foreigners such as Bieber who are legal permanent residents can be deported if convicted of a serious crime, and the list of crimes that qualify has grown in recent years with America's growing exasperation with criminal immigrants. This includes Canadians, too.

Still, best not to bank on it. For one thing, police and prosecutors have a lot of discretion in charging, so a case might not ever reach the level of immigration court. Also, Bieber is a rich and famous foreigner and they generally tend to have good lawyers.

Bieber's lawyers must be busy lately. Last summer, when he was involved in a brawl in the Hamptons, some tabloids raised the deportation issue then. A Facebook page was started, an online petition was launched. Nothing happened.

In fact, Bieber has so far escaped any charges of any sort. In October, prosecutors declined to charge him after a neighbor complained he drove recklessly through the Calabasas neighborhood. In November, prosecutors also declined to charge him after a paparazzo accused him of punching and hitting him after leaving a Calabasas movie theater.

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