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Reality star case shows why it's vital to pursue citizenship

What can we learn from the case of a reality television star? Plenty.

Joe Giudice, who became famous on the "Real Housewives of New Jersey," is a step closer to deportation now that the Board of Immigration Appeals has denied Giudice's request to remain in the United States.

His case is a lesson for all immigrants as to why it is important to seek citizenship if they plan to make the United States their home.

Giudice and his wife, Teresa, have been married since 1998 and have four daughters, ranging in age from 18 to 10. They ran into trouble with the law earlier this decade, and Teresa spent 11 months in prison in 2015 after a conviction on mail, bankruptcy and wire fraud charges.

Joe was convicted of the same crimes and went to prison in March 2016 after his wife's release. He spent about three years in prison and has been held in an immigration detention center since his release, awaiting deportation to Italy, where he was born.

His legal team has filed a stay with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in an attempt to keep him in the United States.

Giudice, 48, moved to the United States with his family as a small child, but last fall, an immigration court signed an order to send him back to Italy.

As an adult, he never pursued American citizenship. That means, under U.S. law, his conviction qualifies him for deportation since he isn't a citizen.

Giudice's case shows just why it's so important for immigrants to become naturalized citizens. Why he never did, we don't know. Anyone in the same situation – living as an American but without citizenship – should seek a consultation with an immigration law attorney to work on becoming a U.S. citizen.

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