Teresa Giudice, best known for starring in The Real Housewives of New Jersey, may soon become a “Real Housewife of Italy.” NBC-New York recently reported that Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) has commenced deportation proceedings against the reality star’s husband, Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice, who is serving time in federal prison for a 2014 bankruptcy fraud conviction.
Joe immigrated to the United States from Italy when he was a child, as a lawful permanent resident, or, “green card” holder. Assuming “permanent resident” really meant “permanent,” Joe never went through the process of becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States. Therefore, his conviction triggered civil deportation proceedings, with ICE alleging Joe must be removed to Italy since he is a non-citizen who has been convicted of a crime that immigration law terms an “aggravated felony,” or what many refer to as “a deportation death trap.” A conviction that is deemed an aggravated felony under immigration law gives little, if any, hope for Joe to avoid deportation and remain in the United States. Teresa has long said that she will stay with her man, even promising Joe that she would follow him to Italy should he be deported.
If you are not a citizen of the United States and have been charged with a crime in New Jersey, a criminal conviction will have serious immigration consequences, including possible permanent banishment from the United States. Before taking a plea, it is crucial that all non-US Citizen criminal defendants and their New Jersey criminal defense attorneys seek the assistance of immigration counsel who understand the immigration consequences of the plea and can assist in crafting a disposition that will minimize or eliminate those consequences.
And, finally, do not assume “permanent resident” means permanent. If you are eligible to become a naturalized United States Citizen, now is the time to apply.
If you have any questions about this post or any other immigration matter, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.