"If it was worth it on the merits, this would be something, but just because [the Giudice family] is asking … "
As Joe Giudice awaits an uncertain fate in the U.S. after being released from prison earlier this year, his family is publicly pleading with President Donald Trump to pardon Giudice and spare him deportation back to Italy.
The president has yet to discuss Giudice’s case and the White House press team did not respond to a previous request for comment. However, according to a source familiar with the administration’s thinking, the pardon request is not on their radar.
“This has not reached the White House,” says the source, who notes that publicity alone does not carry a pardon request to Trump’s desk.
The source explains: “If it was worth it on the merits, this would be something, but just because [the Giudice family] is asking … “
“Thousands of people have through different means tried to bring different cases” to the White House, says the source, who adds, “The vast majority of them just don’t warrant the decision.”
Criminal justice reform has so far been the lone bipartisan priority for President Trump, whose policies largely turn on incendiary issues such as restricting immigration.
Last year he granted clemency to Alice Marie Johnson, a grandmother imprisoned for life in Alabama for nonviolent drug offenses. (Kim Kardashian, who has honed in on criminal justice issues as well, lobbied Trump on Johnson’s behalf and has continued to work with the White House.)
In December Trump signed the First Step Act, which overhauled some sentencing guidelines.
Joe completed a 41-month prison sentence in March for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud. Teresa previously served 11 months of a 15-month sentence for fraud. Both pleaded guilty.
“They have made a mistake but rectified it through serving time and by finically satisfying all that was owed,” Gia wrote in her petition, which has amassed more than 80,000 of its target 150,000 signatures.
Joe was a young child when his family moved from Italy to the U.S., but he never completed his naturalization to become an American citizen. Because of the crimes he committed, he is subject to deportation.
He unsuccessfully appealed to the immigration board but his removal was stayed last month by a federal court pending their own review of the case.
Gia argued in her petition: “My father is not a danger to society.”
“He knows nothing of Italian culture, laws, societal norms, he has no immediate family and will not be able to secure work in this foreign land,” she wrote. Teresa separately posted on her Instagram urging people to sign the petition.
She has said that if Joe is deported, she will leave him.
“I’m not doing a long-distance relationship. I’m not doing it,” she said in the latest RHONJ reunion, which aired in March. “I want somebody with me every day.”