In July, the Norris McLaughlin Immigration Blog reported that Teresa Giudice, best known for starring in The Real Housewives of New Jersey, would soon become a “Real Housewife of Italy.” Well, Teresa may stay in New Jersey, but her husband, Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice, will be traveling by “ICE Air” on a permanent trip to Italy. CBS News reported that Giudice was ordered to be deported to his native Italy yesterday by Judge John Ellington at the York Immigration Court in York, Pennsylvania.
Giudice immigrated to the United States from Italy when he was a child as a lawful permanent resident, or “green card” holder. Running on the incorrect assumption that “permanent resident” really meant “permanent,” Giudice never went through the process of becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States. Therefore, his conviction triggered civil deportation proceedings with ICE alleging, now successfully, that Giudice was convicted of a crime that immigration law refers to as an “aggravated felony”—a deportation death trap. Giudice’s conviction gave him little hope of avoiding deportation from the United States, absent a showing that Giudice fears returning to beautiful Italy because of persecution or torture at the hands of the Italian government.
Giudice has 30 days to appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Arlington, Virginia. Should Giudice appeal, his deportation to Italy will be temporarily stayed pending the appeal’s outcome. Giudice will, however, be subject to mandatory immigration detention for the duration of any immigration appeals, without the possibility of bail, even if he completes his criminal sentence.
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-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.
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.