brightcove.createExperiences(); Joe Giudice said goodbye to his wife Teresa and the couple’s four daughters on March 23 to begin serving his 41-month sentence for fraud, but once he finishes his time at New Jersey’s Federal Correction Institute, Fort Dix, Giudice may be forced to leave the country.
Since it was revealed that the Real Housewives star is not a citizen of the United States (he was born in Italy), he is facing possible deportation at the end of his jail term.
“I’m not even worried about that as far as that goes,” he tells PEOPLE. “That, we’ll worry about when I get out.”
Though he has been living in the United States with his family since age 1, Giudice never officially acquired his citizenship.
Now, as the family adjusts to life without its patriarch, the Giudices have no doubts about their decision to follow him if he is forced to leave the country.
On an episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Teresa Checks In, the family’s attorney James J. Leonard Jr. asked Giudice, “If, God forbid, you had to go, do you see Teresa and the girls moving to Italy with you?”
Joe said he and Teresa, both 43, have talked about it and that, “of course she would.”
But Joe (whose parents and siblings are citizens) did note that he doesn’t know anything about Italy beyond the culinary aspects and said firmly: “I consider myself an American.”