Limited options. Joe Giudice’s hands are somewhat tied when it comes to fighting his deportation to his native Italy.
While a source previously told Us Weekly Giudice “isn’t going to go down without a fight” and plans to appeal the judge’s ruling, which occurred on Wednesday, October 10, an immigration lawyer says he may have an uphill battle.
“I do not think Joe can win in appeals court. A person who is convicted of fraud like this and an aggravated felony conviction is very hard to get around. Maybe there will be some nuance in the statute of the conviction, but it is unlikely,” New Jersey immigration attorney Edward Shulman, Esq. of The Shulman Law Group, who doesn’t represent Giudice, tells Us exclusively.
The Bravo personality will likely be cut off from daughters Gia, 17, Gabriella, 14, Milania, 12, and Audriana, 9, whom he shares with wife Teresa Giudice: “If the immigration court of appeals denies Joe again, Joe will not be allowed back into the country, not even for a vacation. He can apply for special waivers if a family member is ill, but those are very difficult to receive. His other option is a presidential pardon, but of course, those are extremely rare too.”
While Shulman is not Joe’s lawyer, he is familiar with cases similar to the 46-year-old Real Housewives of New Jersey star’s. “Joe is not an illegal alien. He has a green card, but a green card is a privilege, not a right. If someone has been here since they were 1 day old, it does not matter if they have also committed an aggravated felony,” the attorney explains. “The charge of fraud was above $10,000, which makes it an aggravated felony and that is the basis for deportation. There is no relief for Joe now. Since he has a green card and has been convicted of an aggravated felony, the law states that deportation is the result.”
He adds about a possible appeal: “The only arguments his lawyer can make is that the statute of the aggravated felony was not actually against a person, so that amount over $10,000 did not do the harm that a typical aggravated felony would entail and that there is no real victim, but this is not an argument that is likely to work.”
Shulman says if he had handled the case, he would have approached it much differently, placing more of the legal burden on Joe’s wife. “What I think should have happened four years ago, if I were counseling them at the time, is to have Teresa plead to the fraud offense with the amount of money and have Joe plead to the high crimes but keep the dollar amount of the fraud under 10,000,” he tells Us. “That would have Joe serve more jail time and his plea to less money would have mitigated the aggravated felony.”
The reality star, who moved to the U.S. as an infant, is serving a 41-month prison sentence, which he began in March 2016. He and his wife pleaded guilty in 2014 to 41 counts of fraud, including wire, bankruptcy and mail fraud. Joe also did not pay approximately $200,000 in taxes. Teresa, 46, served 11 months in prison in 2015.
“Everyone is shocked that Joe is most likely moving back to Italy,” a source close to the Standing Strong author told Us. “Teresa never talks about Joe’s deportation to her friends. She doesn’t like to bring up their legal problems very often, but Joe being deported to Italy is very high up on her ‘never discuss’ list. … Everyone, including Teresa, thought that they would make an exception for Joe since he has been in this country for so long.”
The Bravo stars’ attorney, James J. Leonard, told Us amid the ruling: “We are respectfully declining to comment at this time.”
With reporting by Travis Cronin