Teresa Giudice and her four daughters haven’t seen Joe Giudice since he was released from prison in March and taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Giudice family attorney, James J. Leonard tells PEOPLE that Joe asked Teresa, 46, and their daughters Gia, 18, Gabriella, 15, Milania, 14, and Audriana, 10 not to visit him at the ICE center in Western Pennsylvania.
“The facility where Joe is being held does not allow for contact visits,” Leonard says. “Joe does not want to put Teresa and the girls through the horrific ordeal of driving several hours to visit him and not be able to hug him.”
“They would be restricted to talking on a phone while separated by plexiglass,” Leonard explains. “It’s inhumane that this man can not hug his wife or kiss his daughters.”
Despite not being able to see each other, the Giudice family have been in contact.
“Joe and Teresa speak several times a day,” Leonard says. “This has been a grueling fight and they are fighting this together to the very end.”
After completing his 41-month prison sentence in March 2019, Joe was turned over to ICE and placed in one of their detainment centers.
Back in October 2018, Judge Ellington ruled that Joe would be deported following the completion of his prison term. Then in early November 2018, Joe filed a last-minute appeal to fight the deportation order that would send him back to Italy after completing his prison sentence.
However, Joe’s deportation appeal was denied by the Board of Immigration Appeals on April 6th leaving his fate up in the air.
Now, Joe’s legal team has filed “a stay with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to keep Joe in the country.”
“This entire process has been absolutely gut-wrenching for this entire family,” Leonard says. “We are praying that it ends soon and Joe can come home where he belongs.”
In the meantime, Teresa and her girls are doing everything they can to #BringJoeHome. On Tuesday, Gia created a petition to keep Joe in the United States, asking supporters to, “Please use your voice, your power, and your signature to help keep my family together.”
The Giudice family and their friends have also publicly directed their pleas to President Donald Trump in the hope that he will help.
“The idea of starting a petition came from Gia,” explains Leonard. “She wrote it, she created it and she launched it herself. It’s pretty amazing what she did and the response has been overwhelming in such a short period of time. … Gia, Gabriella, Milania, and Audriana have been through so much it’s almost unfathomable. They are truly amazing young ladies. The love they have for each other and their family is awe inspiring. Their parents definitely raised them well.”
Teresa showed support for the petition by sharing it on Twitter with the praying hands emojis.
Leonard says Joe is aware of the petition, which currently has almost 52,000 signatures.
“I spoke to Joe about it over the phone and he was touched by the whole thing,” Leonard says. “He was definitely at a loss for words and got very emotional talking about it. He told me how proud he is of his four amazing daughters and how desperately he wants to come home to rejoin their lives.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey star became acquainted with now President Trump when she appeared on his then show the Apprentice.
Yet, despite their past connection, Teresa revealed in November 2018 that she would not reach out to the President to intervene in Joe’s case.
“I don’t have a relationship with Mr. Donald Trump in that way,” Teresa told PEOPLE, adding “I would take his call. If he would call me, of course, I would take his call.”
During this difficult time, Teresa has been leaning on her RHONJ co-stars Melissa Gorga, Dolores Catania, Margaret Josephs, Jackie Goldschneider, and Jennifer Aydin as they film season 10.
“The entire cast has been there for Teresa,” a source close to the stars tells PEOPLE. “No matter what differences they have, they’re all mothers and they all think what is happening to Joe, his wife, and his beautiful daughters is completely unfair and unjust. They’re all united in wanting Joe to come home, and praying that he’ll be allowed to reunite with his family soon.”
“I never said that all families matter,” Teresa responded to said fan.
The heart emoji at the end of Teresa’s reply suggests that she mean to write, “I never said that; all families matter.”
Teresa has yet to respond to faux pas but it more likely than not that she didn’t even realize she made it.