A judge has granted Real Housewives of New Jersey star Joe Giudice’s request to leave ICE custody and move to his native Italy while he waits for a decision in his deportation case. This means that after three years in prison and more than six months in an ICE detention center, Giudice will finally be a free man.
Giudice’s deportation drama began in October 2018 when he was still serving his sentence for his bankruptcy fraud case. An immigration judge ruled at that time that Juicy Joe was to be deported at the end of his prison sentence because federal law states that is the punishment for immigrants who commit an “aggravated felony.”
Joe immediately appealed the decision, but the court ruled against him earlier this year. In March, when he completed the three years he had to serve on his 41-month sentence, the federal Bureau of Prisons released him to ICE custody instead of letting him go home to his wife Teresa and their four daughters in New Jersey.
He has been locked up at Clinton County Correctional Facility ever since, and he has continued to fight the deportation order. Joe even asked the court for a stay of removal so he could remain in the United States while he waits for a final decision.
The court granted the stay, and then he requested bond so he could wait for the deportation decision at home. Unfortunately, the court denied the bond request late last month, and at that point Joe had enough. He decided that he would much rather wait in Italy as a free man instead of in the United States behind bars.
“These past few months in ICE [custody] have been harder for Joe than prison was. The conditions there are terrible,” says an insider. “He’s so close to freedom, yet so far away. Not being able to see his family, and knowing that he won’t be able to be back home with them, has really broken him.”
Finally, on Thursday, Judge Cheryl Ann Krause ordered Joe’s release from ICE custody so he can go to Italy. According to Radar Online, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decided to “lift the stay of removal” that Joe had originally requested.
The decision comes as a bit of a surprise because Joe was scheduled to go back to court in Newark, New Jersey on November 21st. Joe is still in ICE custody at the moment, pending removal, and an insider says that he will most likely be there for a few more weeks because “they will drag this out.”
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Joe, Teresa, and their daughters are still holding out hope that the court will rule in his favor in the appeal case. But, if the decision doesn’t go his way, he will not be allowed back in the United States.
Teresa said at the RHONJ reunion back in January that she can’t do long-distance relationships, so their marriage would most-likely come to an end if Joe is deported. Still, Teresa wants Joe Giudice to come home to their family, says the insider.
The new season of Real Housewives of New Jersey premieres later this year on Bravo.