A petition asking President Obama to deport CNN anchor Piers Morgan gathered more than 33,000 signatures in just three days.
The petition on the White House’s “We the People” website posted Friday has crossed the 25,000 threshold needed to solicit a response from President Obama. But unlike the petitions to reduce gun violence that Obama addressed last week, this one isn’t likely to receive a favorable response.
The petition takes aim at Morgan for his impassioned defense of proposed gun control legislation on air this week. It accuses him of launching “a hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment.”
But according to immigration attorney Mark Schifanelli, it would take more than expressing an opinion on television to get Morgan booted out of the country.
The Department of Homeland Security would have the power to start a deportation process on Morgan if it was warranted, Schifanelli said, but even then, there’s no guarantee Morgan wouldn’t win the right to stay in an appeals process.
“He’s got certain rights,” Schifanelli told ABC News Monday. “Even as a foreign national in the United States, he’s afforded various rights under national security law and due process.”
What’s more, Morgan’s supposed attack on the Second Amendment is likely protected by the First Amendment. His speech would have to present “immediate danger” in order to break the law. Schifanelli said it’s unlikely Morgan’s defense of gun restrictions would meet that requirement.
But perhaps the best reason the president wouldn’t deport Morgan for advocating stricter gun laws on television is that he would be guilty of the same crime.
In a televised address on Wednesday, President Obama expressed support for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s assault weapons ban and urged Congress to take “meaningful action” to prevent further gun violence.
The petition against Morgan isn’t the first wacky request to receive substantial support. A bid for Texas to secede from the union and form an independent nation has received 121,784 electronic signatures and is still waiting for a White House response.