Joe Giudice is fighting back after a judge ruled he will be deported to Italy when he leaves prison

By Jodi Guglielmi and Emily Strohm
November 12, 2018 11:37 AM
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Joe Giudice is fighting back after a judge ruled he will be deported to Italy when he leaves prison.

Joe, 48, has filed an appeal with the immigration court to avoid being sent back to his native Italy, PEOPLE has confirmed.

“The appeal has been filed and we are optimistic that Joe will return home to his family where he belongs,” his attorney James Leonard tells PEOPLE.

In October, a judge ruled that Joe will be deported at the end of his 41-month prison sentence for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud. He began the sentencing in March 2016 and is set to be released in 2019.

Even though he has lived in the United States since he was a child, he never obtained American citizenship, and immigrants can be deported if they are convicted of “a crime of moral turpitude” or an “aggravated felony,” according to U.S. law.

His wife Teresa Giudice, who served a little over 11 months in prison for the same crimes and was released on Dec. 23, 2015, recently opened up to PEOPLE about the strain Joe’s imprisonment has put on their marriage.

Joe and Teresa Giudice
| Credit: Alo Ceballos/GC Images

“Of course I’m very angry,” she said. “I wish my husband would have crossed every T, dotted every I. There was also another person involved and nothing happened to that person, which is very sad. There’s a lot of scenarios. I lost my mom. I’m angry about that. You know? I lost time with my mom, because I was away. There’s a lot. I lost time with my daughters while I was away. Children need their mom.”

“He left when Adriana was 6. She’s 9 now. Yeah. It’s two and a half years. I mean, it’s going to be three years,” she added. “He’s lost three years with his children.”

Page Six first reported the news of Joe’s appeal.