Joe Giudice has served his federal prison sentence — but that doesn't mean he gets to go home. The Real Housewives of New Jersey alum is in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody Thursday, where he will remain until his next day in court.
ICE officials told Entertainment Tonight that Giudice has been released from the Bureau of Prisons Allenwood Low Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix, New Jersey, but that he'll remain in ICE custody until he is given a court date to appeal deportation.
The Giudice family attorney told ET that they are "hopeful" that the 46-year-old reality star will be home with his wife, Teresa Giudice, and their four daughters, soon.
"Mr. Giudice has finished serving his federal prison sentence and was transferred early this morning from the Bureau of Prisons to a facility in western Pennsylvania which houses immigration detainees," the statement reads. "His lawyers and his family are hopeful that justice will prevail and Mr. Guidice will return home to his wife and four daughters who love him and miss him."
Earlier this week, it was reported that Giudice, who was serving a 41-month prison sentence for fraud, would not be allowed to go home to his wife and kids following his release on Thursday.
He filed a last-minute appeal in November to dispute the order that he must leave the United States for his native Italy at the end of his prison sentence. Giudice had previously been ordered by Immigration Judge John Ellington to leave the U.S. when he had completed his sentence.
James Leonard, the Giudices' attorney, told ET that the family is "optimistic that once his appeal is heard, he will receive the appropriate relief and will be able to come home and remain there with his family."
"They love him, they support him and they miss him tremendously," Leonard added.
Giudice and Teresa both pleaded guilty to multiple charges of fraud in 2014 and were given consecutive sentences, with Teresa serving her 15 months in federal prison first. She entered in January 2015 but was released early in December that same year. Giudice began his sentence in 2016.
Giudice's appeal process could reportedly take up to a year to complete, meaning he could remain in custody until the court releases him. It's unclear when is next court date will take place.
Teresa, 46, said during a recent season 9 reunion taping of RHONJ that she and Giudice will "go our separate ways" should he be deported.
"I'm not doing a long-distance relationship. I'm not doing it," she confessed. "You know, I want somebody with me every day. I know exactly what happens. You know, I'm sure he'll be with other women. It happens. We do the long-distance thing, it's not going to work. I'd be like, 'Bye, bye.'"