Anyone that is a fan of the Bravo hit show Real Housewives of New Jersey has likely heard that the federal government has indicted two of the major stars of the hit show. One the stars, Joe Guidice has been indicted for various charges including bankruptcy fraud and tax fraud. So, why am I writing this blog? . . . Well, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey representing the federal government also announced that Joe Guidice is not a U.S. citizen and that if convicted, he may face deportation to Italy. For many viewers and fans this likely came as shock. For, immigration deportation lawyers like me, this was not surprising. Although Joe Guidice appears to be just like any other U.S. Citizen, in fact he is not, according to the federal government. As such, it is likely he will be treated just like any other person not a U.S. citizen. Although he is a permanent resident (“Green Card” holder), he might be facing deportation if he is convicted of the fraud charges that Immigration law views as a removable/deportable offense.
If he is in fact convicted, the federal government though the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) may decide to issue a Notice to Appear commanding Joe Guidice to appear before the Immigration Court in Newark, New Jersey. What??????? Yes, although he is married to a U.S. Citizen and has many beautiful U.S. citizen daughters and owns a home, this gentleman may be deported out of the country. If he makes the right decision, his criminal defense attorney should immediately hire and retain an immigration lawyer to work with the criminal defense attorney to minimize deportation issues, if possible. Unfortunately, the immigration laws currently in place are written against the interest of the non-U.S. citizen, especially when it comes to certain crimes which Immigration feels are aggravated felonies. In such, cases Immigration may even hold such person in detention and refuse to release such person on bond claiming that he is subject to mandatory detention. Sounds awful, doesn’t it???? We need some serious changes in the Immigration Law regarding criminal convictions. The message here to anyone not a U.S. citizen and has criminal issues is to make a smart decision and hire an immigration lawyer to work hand in hand with the criminal defense lawyer.