Joe Giudice deportation: What is ICE and what are immigration detention centers like?

Joe Giudice on The Real Housewives of New Jersey
Joe Giudice finished his prison sentence but still faces deportation. Pic credit: Bravo

Today is the big day! Real Housewives of New Jersey husband Joe Giudice served his term in prison after he was found guilty of bank, mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud. However, he won’t be going home to his wife Teresa.

Instead, he’ll be heading to an ICE immigration detention center as he continues to appeal the decision to deport him back to Italy.

Giudice completed his 41-month sentence at the Allenwood Low Federal Correctional Institution in Allenwood, Pennsylvania on March 14. Instead of heading back to New Jersey, he was transferred straight to an immigration detention center as he continues to fight to stay in the United States.

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Joe Giudice’s chances of winning that fight and continuing to live in New Jersey look pretty dim. After all, he never gained U.S. citizenship even though he has lived in the U.S. since he was a small child, instead opting to live as a legal resident for decades.

Unfortunately for Giudice and the rest of his family, according to U.S. law, those convicted of a “crime of moral turpitude” or an aggravated felony can be deported upon release from prison and that is what the court decided to do with him.

What is ICE?

ICE stands for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. They are responsible for enforcing immigration laws as well as investigate the criminal and terrorist activity of transnational organizations.

ICE also oversees the immigration detention centers where non-citizens are held until their immigration cases can be heard and a determination can be made as to whether they will be deported or not.

What are immigration detention centers like?

According to NOLO, there are now almost 200 immigration detention centers in the United States. Most of them separate men from women though there are some family detention centers where immigrant families are housed together.

Immigration detention centers have been described as prison-like and in some cases, they are found in actual jails and prisons that are operated by federal, state and privately outsourced companies.

In some cases, ICE rents out actual space in jails and prisons to house detained immigrants in separate areas. What most don’t do is separate criminal immigrants from non-criminals.

Continuing with the prison-like conditions, many housed in immigration detention centers are transported to them while handcuffed and once inside, will be assigned to a bed and given a jumpsuit to wear.

Those in the detention centers are not allowed to move around freely and are given very little privacy.

There has been quite a bit of controversy about the conditions in immigration detention centers over the past few years and conditions from one site to another can vary greatly.

While it was made clear that Joe Giudice would be headed to an immigration detention center upon release from prison, it was not reported exactly where he will be located.

Many of the immigration deportation centers are located in rural areas, far from large cities. He will be required to remain there until the date of his deportation appeal.

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