In an open letter attached to the petition, Gia, her mom and her three sisters Gabriella, Milania and Audriana urged the president to pardon their father for a range of fraud and tax crimes, as he has already served his prison sentence and is now being held in immigration detention facing deportation.
“My father is not a danger to society, he is a warm loving man and I beg you sign our petition to give my father a second chance at being part of our lives and giving back to the community we live in once again,” the letter says.
The petition has a goal of 35,000 signatures and is just shy of achieving that.
“He is currently still in a detention center while fighting the deportation; that’s right he’s still incarcerated months after completing his prison sentence in an effort to stand by his family,” writes Gia.
“After completing his sentence he could’ve left the country and gone to Italy,” the letter continues, “but he chose to stay in prison, hire additional counsel and make several more appeals to try to stay in the United States because he knows how much his family needs him. He and my mother are willing to spend funds and additional time in an immigration prison for the chance he gets to hold his children again.”
The letter goes on to ask Trump to pardon Joe Giudice because, in Italy, he won’t be incarcerated any longer, but “will he ever be free if kept from his family and be able to be a productive member of society?”
Joe Giudice was released from the Allenwood, Pennsylvania, federal correctional institution in March after serving a 41-month prison sentence. He had pleaded guilty to mail, wire, bankruptcy and tax fraud charges in 2014.
In October 2018, reports indicated that Joe Giudice would be deported to his native Italy upon his release. He was born in Saronno, Italy, and was brought to New Jersey with his family when he was a child, never obtaining U.S. citizenship.
“Based upon the law, I find you deportable and ineligible for any kind of relief,” said Judge John Ellington, according to an October 2018 report in Radar Online. “Mr. Giudice, no matter how this turns out, I wish you the best. I decided this case as a matter of law.”
The Giudice family filed an appeal to that ruling in November 2018. It was later denied.
Teresa Guidice appeared on a season of “The Celebrity Apprentice” hosted by Trump and has been a vocal supporter of the president.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.