Real Housewives star Teresa Giudice asks Trump for deportation help
The family of a US reality television star are appealing to President Trump to intervene in a deportation case.
The husband of Teresa Giudice, known for the series Real Housewives of New Jersey, has been ordered to be sent back to his native Italy.
Joe Giudice, who also appeared on the show, arrived in the US when he was a baby but never became a citizen.
He recently completed a 41-month federal prison stint over a multi-million dollar fraud case.
Upon his release, the 46-year-old was immediately transferred to a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centre in Pennsylvania.
Under US law, permanent residents who commit crimes of “moral turpitude” are eligible for deportation.
Mr Giudice was jailed over a raft of fraud charges originally levelled at the couple back in 2013.
Prosecutors accused them of 41 offences, including wire-fraud and fraud involving a bankruptcy filing. The couple admitted their guilt in 2014.
Both were given jail-time to be served concurrently, so they were able to maintain custody of their four daughters.
Teresa served 11-months of a 15-month prison sentence back in 2015 and has since returned to public life.
The “Real Housewives” reality franchise, which debuted in 2006, focuses on the glamorous lives of wealthy women and their families.
It has nine editions in the US and spin-offs around the world.
Appeal for help
A petition, launched earlier this week, asks for the presidents help to stop the deportation.
The couple’s eldest daughter Gia, 18, created the appeal titled “STOP the Deportation of Joe Giudice”.
It is signed off on behalf of the whole family and already has more than 60,000 signatures.
The change.org page describes the girls’ father as “our handyman, our confidant, our cheerleader, our challenger and most importantly our protector”.
“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,” the petition says.
“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…”
Teresa, who has starred in the reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice alongside Mr Trump, shared the appeal to her 1.6 million Instagram followers on Thursday.
She reposted a photograph showing the couple with their children alongside the hashtag #BringJoeHome.
On Thursday it was announced Mr Giudice had been issued with a temporary stay on his deportation.
“We are happy that the court has granted us a temporary stay,” the family’s lawyer, James Leonard Jr, told local media.
He said Mr Giudice’s immigration lawyers “are doing everything they can” to bring him home, adding “we are extremely grateful for all of their efforts.”