Teresa Giudice's Brother Joe Gorga Says He Hopes She and Joe Will Stay Together: 'It's Tough'

The Real Housewives of New Jersey stars have four daughters together

Joe Gorga is rooting for his sister Teresa Giudice‘s marriage.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey‘s husband Joe Giudice is currently fighting his deportation order from Italy, where he was sent after being released from ICE custody on Oct. 11. Teresa, meanwhile, remains in New Jersey with the couple’s four daughters: Gia, 18, Gabriella, 15, Milania, 13, and Audriana, 10.

Speaking to TooFab.com while out in Los Angeles over the weekend, Gorga and his wife Melissa said they were hopeful Teresa and Joe would stay together despite the challenges of living so far apart.

“He’s doing good,” said Gorga, confirming he had spoken with his brother-in-law since his arrival in Italy.

“They’re thousands of miles apart. It’s tough, man,” he acknowledged. “The kids will keep them together, we hope. We’ll see.”

Gorga, 40, has previously said that if Joe does get deported, Teresa and the kids won’t be joining him.

“If he goes to Italy, they’re not going,” he told Good Day New York earlier this year, adding that his sister “has no choice” but to be prepared for a divorce.

“She has to be prepared,” he said. “What is she going to do?”

<a href="https://people.com/tag/teresa-giudice/" data-inlink="true">Teresa Giudice</a>, <a href="https://people.com/tag/joe-giudice/" data-inlink="true">Joe Giudice</a>, Joe Gorga
Paul Zimmerman/Getty. Inset: Manny Carabel/Getty

A year ago, an immigration court ruled to deport Joe, 49, to his native Italy after his prison sentence. (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.)

Following his release from prison in March after completing a 41-month sentence for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud, the Bravo star was transferred directly to the Clinton County Correctional Center in Pennsylvania, where he remained in custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Earlier this month, he was granted permission to await the court’s final ruling, expected in November, from Italy.

“We are still fighting and it is his desire to return home to the United States to be reunited with his family,” his attorney recently said in a statement to PEOPLE.

The ordeal has undoubtedly put strain on the couple’s marriage. Though Teresa, 47, has publicly stood by her husband thus far, she has also been realistic about the fate of their marriage should he be deported, admitting on the RHONJ season 9 reunion that she’s “not doing a long-distance relationship.”

And in a sneak peek at the season 10 premiere, the mother of four questioned whether she was still in love, confessing she hadn’t “been happy in so long.”

Wednesday marked the couple’s 20th wedding anniversary; they got married on Oct. 23, 1999. Teresa has yet to acknowledge the occasion on social media.

The couple will be jointly interviewed by Andy Cohen for the first time since Joe’s release in a special airing Sunday on Bravo.

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