Felony conviction for actor Joe Giudice will likely result in removal proceedings
Hollywood sit-com writers occasionally air episodes where the storyline has an immigration subplot. But sometimes, you don’t need fiction writers! Joe Giudice, from “Real Housewives of New Jersey”, was convicted on federal charges that will likely trigger immigration consequences.
In the past, I have written about the show “Trophy Wife.” And here’s one about that Sherlock Holmes show “Elementary.” But this time, we learn about real-life persons Teresa and Joe Giudice, and the immigration consequences of convictions of federal fraud charges.
The two “stars” from the reality show “Real Housewives of New Jersey” have recently been sentenced for fraud.
For the immigration savants out there, the juicy bit is this:
“Earlier in the day, Joe Giudice was sentenced to 41 months in prison. The husband, who was born in Italy and moved to the United States when he was a year old, never obtained citizenship and faces the prospect of deportation. But [Judge] Salas said the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement told the court that if they seek to deport him, they would wait until after he has served his sentence.”
E!Online put it this way:
“Joe, who was born in Italy, could be deported after completing his prison term. His attorney previously said that his client came to the U.S. as an infant and wasn’t aware that he wasn’t an American citizen.”
What does this mean for the rest of us, non-movie-star-types? What are the lessons here?
Automatic versus Derivative citizenship
Many times, I have consulted with individuals who believed that their arrival into the United States at a young age meant that they “automatically” became United States citizens. While it is true that there is a route to derivative citizenship, the mere fact of growing up in the United States does not convert into American citizenship.
Felony removal proceedings
Back to our star Joe: The Immigration and Nationality Act defines one type of “aggravated felony” as an offense that “involves fraud or deceit in which the loss to the victim or victims exceeds $10,000” or tax evasion in which the “revenue loss to the Government exceeds $10,000.” A non-US-citizen who has been convicted of an aggravated felony will likely encounter Immigration and Customs Enforcement filing charging documents to initiate removal proceedings.
Why does ICE need to wait until AFTER he serves his sentence before it begins removal proceedings? This is because the criminal justice system has determined that serving time in prison has several aims: retribution, deterrence, denunciation, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and reparation. Once these “debts to society” have been paid, then the deportation machinations starts.
If you have been ensnared by the deportation machine, you should consult with a competent immigration attorney. But the big take away from this article: Even the rich and famous cannot avoid being subjected to deportation.