A Pennsylvania immigration court judge ruled on Wednesday that the husband of Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice is to be removed from the United States, without giving a time frame, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Joe is set to be released from prison in March 2019 and is then expected to be transferred into ICE custody.
"On Oct. 10, Mr. Giudice was ordered removed by an immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Mr. Giudice has reserved his right to appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals and has 30 days to file an appeal before the order becomes final," a statement from ICE reads. "As standard practice, ICE, through its Criminal Alien Program (CAP) works with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to identify foreign-born nationals who are amenable to removal. These aliens are placed in removal proceedings while serving their criminal sentences in order to reduce ICE detention costs and expedite removals once BOP transfers are completed."
Now, New Jersey based immigration attorney Edward Shulman of the Shulman Law Group is talking to E! News about the ruling and what this really means for Joe and the Giudice family.
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Shulman, who is not involved with the case but knows the attorney handling it, tells E! News of the ruling, "The judge felt this was an aggravated felony. That subjects Joe to deportation. Joe could argue against deportation if he will be tortured in his home country. But in Italy, that's unlikely to happen. His lawyer had to argue that this was not an 'aggravated felony' but couldn't convince the judge."
Does this mean that there's grounds for an appeal?
"Sure, if the attorney felt that the judge made an error in holding him to the crime of an aggravated felony when the attorney thought it was not," Shulman says. "He could definitely appeal. He has 30 days to appeal and if successful then he would be eligible for relief. If he's not eligible, then he could take it to a higher court, the third circuit court of appeals, for example, and ask them to evaluate it."
Shulman tells E! News that if the person appeals within 30 days, then the removal is stayed until the Board of Immigration Appeals makes a ruling. "So the board is located in Virginia. And that's generally done on the papers, very rarely do they give an oral argument," he shares. "Generally, when someone's detained, they do it much more rapidly. Usually within three months a decision should be made. If there's no other appeal and it doesn't go higher, the removal will be as fast as immigration can get his travel documents together."
As for what Teresa and their four daughters will do, Shulman says it "really depends on the family."
"If the person is from a country that's not a very good country, then the family would stay in the US and unfortunately have a separated family," he says. "But if they're from a very nice place like Italy, then there's a likelihood the family can stay united and live in Italy. But it also depends on the age of the children, the work status of the spouse. There's never a way to truly know."
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So what's next for Joe?
"They won't do anything to him for the 30 days and then after the 30 days, if his criminal sentence has been completed, then they will start effectuating his departure," Shulman tells E! News. "That could take anywhere from one week to a couple of months, depending on how hard it is to get a flight out. Someplace like Italy, it's not hard to get a flight compared to, say, Iran. So he'll probably be sent out more rapidly than not."
And Shulman is fairly confident that Joe will appeal.
"I would think so," he tells us. "Like I said, I know the attorney pretty well and he's an excellent attorney and he felt it was not an aggravated felony so he'll most likely be making that recommendation to the board of appeals."
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