As you know by now, Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Joe and Teresa Giudice have been charged with 39 counts of fraud and tax evasion by the feds, and if convicted, Joe could be deported back to Italy! Joe and Teresa have been married for 15 years, but for some reason, Joe never became a U.S. Citizen. Since Joe is an Italian Citizen, RealityTea spoke with an immigration attorney (who is not working on the Giudice case) to gather some insight on what this could mean for the Giudice family.
The site reports that the United States government can deport anyone by naturalization, but that in this case they would wait until Joe is convicted. “It appears Joe Giudice may be a lawful permanent resident, that is, he has a green card,” the attorney explains to the site. Meaning: “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.”
Joe Giudice’s crimes are classified as “aggravated felonies,” and under the Immigration and Nationality Act anyone that commits these crimes is deportable. Aggravated felonies 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.” The site reports if Joe is convicted, deportation would “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 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, but offering his professional opinion that this is not likely.
“If Joe is ordered removed from the U.S., he and his family had best accept that he will never return,” the attorney continues. “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.” But if Teresa is convicted in federal court she could be “unable” to travel overseas “easily.”
“Unfortunately, a green card holder who is under indictment for any reason cannot apply for naturalization,” the attorney says. “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.”
Photo Credit: Bravo