KALAMAZOO, Mich. – A Michigan doctor who’s been living in the country for more than 40 years is now in jail after being detained by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement.
Doctor Lukasz Niec works at Bronson Healthcare in Kalamazoo. His family says he’s been behind bars since Tuesday when I.C.E. agents picked him up from his home. His family says doctor Niec has a green card and permanent legal resident status.
Doctor Niec came to the U.S. when he was a young child, brought over by his parents from Poland in 1979.
His sister Ivona says that in the charging documents I.C.E. delivered this past week shows he has two misdemeanors, one for destruction of property, the other for receiving stolen property. Relatives say one of those was expunged. They believe it’s because of these old charges that immigration officials detained him.
“When I walked into that jail cell and I had to look at him through the glass and talk with him on the phone with him and I just both broke down into tears,” says Ivona Niec-Villaire. “He’s scared and he’s humbled at how everyone has rallied behind him. And the first thing he said to me was I’m sorry I’m putting you through this. And I said you don’t have to be sorry you did nothing wrong.”
Doctor Niec is currently at the Calhoun County Jail. His sister Ivona is recommending anyone with permanent legal resident status to not wait around and to get citizenship as soon as possible.
Relatives are hoping to have a hearing on Niec's situation in early February, but say it could be weeks or even months because a discussion is held.