‘RHONJ’: Why Teresa Giudice Hasn’t Seen Husband Joe Since His Release from Prison

Joe Giudice is out of prison, but he still hasn’t seen his wife, Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice, and their four daughters. “Inhumane restrictions” are preventing the family from reuniting, Giudice’s lawyer said in a statement to US Weekly.

Giudice completed a 41-month sentence for mail, wire, and bankruptcy fraud in March 2019, but instead of being released he was transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. The 46-year-old has been living in the U.S. since his parents brought him to the country from Italy as a small child, but he is not a U.S. citizen. His criminal conviction means he is now subject to deportation.

Why Joe hasn’t seen his family

Joe and Teresa Giudice
Joe Giudice and Teresa Giudice leave court in 2013 | Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Giudice is currently in an ICE facility in western Pennsylvania, where he is only allowed no-contact visits.

“The facility where Joe is being held does not allow for contact visits,” Giudice’s attorney James J. Leonard Jr. explained to the magazine. That’s a problem for Giudice.

“Joe does not want to put Teresa and the girls through the horrific ordeal of driving several hours to visit him and not be able to hug him,” Leonard explained. “They would be restricted to talking on a phone while separated by Plexiglass.”

Giudice is currently detained at the Clinton County Correctional Facility in McElhattan, Pennsylvania, according to ICE’s online records. That’s over three hours from his family’s home in New Jersey. Visits are limited to 1 hour and are no-contact, according to the ICE website. He is one of more than 200 people currently detained at the facility, according to country records.

His family is trying to get Joe released

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Earlier in April, the Board of Immigration Appeals denied Giudice’s request to stay in the United States. His attorney is appealing that decision, but it now looks even more likely that he will eventually be deported to his native Italy.

While Giudice’s lawyer appeals the deportation decision, his family is also working to keep him in the U.S. Recently, his daughters appealed to Donald Trump to stop the process. His 18-year-old daughter Gia has also started a petition to get her father released. It currently has more than 53,000 signatures. Her mother has also shared the petition on Instagram.

Gia writes that her father and her mother (who also spent time in prison for fraud) have served their time and “have fought tirelessly to pay back every single penny of restitution to court deemed they owe.” She adds that sending her father back to Italy, a country where he has not lived since he was a small child, would be cruel.

“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 writes. “We request that our President, Donald J Trump review our petition and pardon my father to relieve him of this life sentence the courts are bestowing on him, yes in Italy he will no longer be incarcerated but will he ever be free if kept from his family and be able to be a productive member of society?”

Will Teresa divorce Joe?

If the Giudices can’t stop Joe’s deportation, it could break up the family. Teresa Giudice is reportedly considering divorcing her husband if he is forced to leave the U.S. her brother Joe Gorga has said.

“If he goes to Italy, they’re not going,” he told Good Day New York, adding that his sister was ready to end the marriage if necessary. “I mean, she has no choice,” he said. “She has to be prepared. What is she going to do?”

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