Joe Giudice's request to be released from the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and return home to New Jersey to be with his wife, Teresa Giudice, and their four daughters — Gia, 18, Gabriella, 14, Milania, 13, and Audriana, 10 — while he awaits a decision regarding his deportation appeal was denied by a judge on Friday, September 20, multiple outlets have confirmed.
“Joe is extremely disappointed,” James J. Leonard, the Giudice family attorney, told PEOPLE in a statement following the ruling. “He spent the last six months in a cage not able to hug or kiss his wife or daughters when they came to visit him. We treat animals in shelters better than we treat human beings in these ICE facilities.”
In a statement to ET, Leonard said, "When is enough going to be enough? This family has paid their debt to society and then some. Joe Giudice belongs home with his family," referring to Joe serving out his 41-month prison sentence for mail, wire, and bankruptcy fraud, which he completed in March.
Leonard said in another statement to E! News, "We are very disappointed in the judge's decision. We continue to believe that Joe should be given the opportunity to return home to his wife and children."
Joe appeared at a bond hearing via video on September 11 to request that he be released from ICE Custody while awaiting a decision on his pending deportation case. With this most recent ruling, he must now remain in ICE Custody until the case is settled, according to E! News. He has 30 days to appeal the judge's latest decision.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey husband has been staying in "a facility in western Pennsylvania, which houses immigration detainees" since he was released from federal prison in March. Joe has won some small victories along the way, including being granted permission to stay in the U.S. as his legal battle continues and receiving support from 27 former immigration judges.
Joe's absence has been felt by all of his loved ones since he began his prison sentence in March 2016. However, nothing would be more devastating than the RHONJ patriarch having to leave the country, Teresa shared in the above exclusive video with Bravo Insider.
"If he gets deported, he'll never be able to go to their graduation[s], celebrate their birthdays, anything," she said of their four daughters. "He's going to be missing out on so much. The girls adore their father, and no child should have to go through what my daughters are going through. They should have their daddy here."