June 22 (UPI) -- Joe Giudice says he's not being deported to his native Italy.
Giudice, the husband of Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice, addressed reports he's in deportation proceedings in a statement through his attorney Thursday.
"The same immigration detainer that was lodged against him in March of 2016 remains in place today, but I want to be absolutely clear about this, no judicial authority has made any decision regarding what will happen with that detainer," he said.
"Mr. Giudice has immigration counsel who are and have been working aggressively on his behalf so that he can return home to his wife and four young daughters and we remain optimistic that that is how this will end," he added.
Giudice is serving a 41-month prison sentence for fraud and is scheduled to be released in March 2019. Radar Online said Thursday Giudice is in deportation proceedings while he is in custody and could be deported before his sentence is up.
A rep for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed Thursday to the New York Daily News that the agency has lodged a detainer against Giudice. The rep said Giudice is in removal proceedings from the U.S. back to Italy.