Could Joe Giudice Really Be Deported Because Of His Fraud Indictment?

Teresa and Joe Giudice arrive at federal court

So in case you haven't heard, Joe Giudice was charged with like 3 zillion money fraud related indictments. Which is about how much money he also owes because of bankruptcy debts related to falsifying income. And when he's done there he owes the IRS big too. Long story short, homeboy is in biiig trouble!

Among the revelations that emerged about the Real Housewives of New Jersey star during the court proceedings was that, despite being married to Teresa Giudice for like 15 years, Joe never bothered to become a U.S. citizen. Which means he's still an Italian citizen, since he was born there. And since he's not a U.S. citizen, as a felon or a convicted offender he could be deported! 

We've been wondering how likely it was that ol' Juicy could be shipped off to Italy and lucky us, we got the opportunity to speak to an immigration attorney who gave us some insight into how cases such as these generally work.

Disclaimer: This attorney does not represent Teresa or Joe and is in no way connected personally or professionally to their case or to Reality Tea. This attorney just so happens to be a RHONJ fan like the rest of us!


First of all, the U.S. can deport anyone who is not a citizen by birth or naturalization. However the U.S. Government would not initiate deportation proceeding unless Joe is convicted – either by a plea bargain or a trial. 

"It appears Joe Giudice may be a lawful permanent resident, that is, he has a green card," the attorney explains. What that means: "Lawful permanent residence gives non-U.S. citizens the right to live and work indefinitely in the U.S. under certain conditions.  One of the obvious conditions is that LPRs do not commit crimes, although most traffic offenses and misdemeanors will not give rise to deportation proceedings." Oopsie – Juicy bungled that one!

Importantly Juicy's crimes are likely classified under the "aggravated felony" category and per the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA") anyone who commits these is deportable. Among the crimes that fall under this category include tax evasion greater than $10,000 and money laundering more than $10,000. It also applies to any "alien" convicted of two or more crimes involving "moral turpitude". Whether or not any of Joe's future convictions constitute aggravated felonies will be determined by an immigration judge. 

If Joe is convicted, removal proceedings "often occur while the person is still incarcerated because most non-U.S. citizens convicted of crimes are subject to mandatory detention while removal proceedings are pending anyway."  If Joe is found guilty of an aggravated felony the judge in all likelihood will seek removal to his native country. 

However merely being convicted does not necessarily mean he is deported! "If he is deemed to only have been convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude which do not rise to the level of aggravated felonies, he may be eligible to apply for a waiver of removal and keep his green card in the discretion of the immigration judge," the attorney explains.

In the attorney's professional opinion, given the seriousness of his crimes, a waiver  is highly unlikely. One thing that could sway in Joe's favor may possibly be his family and his long marriage to Teresa, who is a U.S. citizen. However, the attorney who spoke to us again discounts this as incredibly unlikely. 

"If Joe is ordered removed from the U.S., he and his family had best accept that he will never return," the attorney asserted.  "It does not matter that Teresa is a U.S. citizen and that he has four U.S. citizen daughters. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement lawyer who will represent the U.S. government in any removal proceedings will undoubtedly argue that they can visit him in Italy or they can meet up in third countries.  However, most countries will not give tourist visas to convicted felons."

Even worse, she predicts if Teresa is convicted in federal court she may be "unable" to travel overseas "easily." 

One bright spot, if Joe is officially "removed" from the U.S. (i.e. deported), he could in theory apply for readmission to the U.S. after spending more than 20 years away from U.S. soil, again unlikely. 

Apparently the fatal flaw and what will likely be the nail in Joe's coffin (despite, obviously all the crimes!) is that he never sought to naturalize to U.S. citizenship and instead remained an LPR (Lawful Permanent Resident). 

"Unfortunately, a green card holder who is under indictment for any reason cannot apply for naturalization," the attorney clarifies. "Since Joe has been fighting state court charges for the past few years, naturalization was not an option.  This new indictment essentially ensures that he will never apply for naturalization in the U.S." 

This is an incredibly tragic situation for Joe and Teresa's children, who are the unfortunate victims in all of this. I have to wonder if a big, ol' marble mansion and a flashy life was worth all the agony in the end. 

Joe and Teresa still plan to plead Not Guilty according to their attorneys. 

Photo Credit: TNYF/