Musings on Immigration

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Real Housewives of…Deportation?

I have never seen the show, I promise, but I couldn’t help but notice some interesting headlines in the news regarding the Real Housewives of New Jersey cast.  Real Housewife Teresa Giudice and her husband Jose Giudice were recently convicted of conspiracy and bankruptcy fraud with Joe being sentenced to 41 months confinement.  Where this gets interesting is that Joe did not realize (supposedly) that he is not actually a U.S. citizen, but rather just a permanent resident of the United States, and could be deported for his crimes.  Apparently Joe was born in Italy and brought to the U.S. at a young age, and did not understand that the steps to becoming a U.S. citizen were never taken.

Unless Joe can somehow negotiate some sort of deal with immigration, you most likely will not be seeing him in any future episodes of Real Housewives for two reasons.  First, a conviction for fraud, where the loss is $10,000 or more is considered an aggravated felony for immigration purposes.  An aggravated felony conviction almost always leads to deportation and a bar from ever returning to the U.S.

Second, Joe says he didn’t realize he was not a U.S. citizen, which would lead one to assume that he probably told a lot of people, in a lot of different settings that he in fact was a U.S. citizen.  This is pure speculation, but he may have told the DMV, banks, insurance companies, lending companies, employers and others that he was in fact a U.S. citizen.  He may have even registered to vote.  Making a false claim to U.S. citizenship and/or registering to vote and voting are all grounds for deportation (with few exceptions).  If the government decides to do a little digging and in fact finds proof that Joe falsely claimed U.S. citizenship or voted, he could be subject to even more grounds of deportation.


If deportation proceedings are not initiated against Joe that would mean that for some reason the government has decided to use its discretion and not seek deportation.  I for one would be outraged if that were the case since I see people every day who face deportation for things as petty as driving without a valid license who are not the beneficiaries of discretion.