ebay beat headphones born doctor detained by ICE after 40 years in U
A Polish born doctor in Michigan who has lived in the United Statessince he was 5 years old could face deportation due to two misdemeanors committed more than a quarter century ago, his family says.
Dr. Lukasz Niec, 43,who lives in Kalamazoo and providesin patient medical services for four Bronson Healthcare hospitals,has been a permanent resident since 1989. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at his home on Jan. 16, family members told the localWOOD TV.
Bronson officials have reached out to lawmakers and are working with Bronson’s immigration lawyer to get Niec released from adetention center, according to a statement released Monday by Bronson spokeswoman Carolyn Wylie.
Niec has been a member ofBronson’smedical staff since 2007.
“His detention in a county jail while awaiting deportation proceedings simply does not make sense,” the statement said.”Given all that he has contributed in the form of exemplary patient care, and Bronson’s ongoing need for Dr. Niec’s continued service as a hospitalist, we are requesting the community’s best interest be considered.”
WhileBronson said in the statement that it “respects the laws and regulations concerning United States immigration,” it also defended Niec’s character saying, “we believe that Dr. Niec’s recent history as a contributing member of our community is far more indicative of the type of person he is than the incidents that occurred when he was a teenager.”
The “notice to appear”stems from two misdemeanors from the 1992 malicious destruction of property under $100 in January of that yearand, a few months later, receiving and concealing stolen property over $100. Niec was 17 at the time, and the youthful offender proceeding allowed young first offenders to avoid a criminal record if they stayed out of trouble.
But ICE is a federal agency, and family members complained that Niec did not know that the agency was not bound to honor the agreement, the family says.
“These misdemeanors were just an adolescent making mistakes and learning from them,” Niec’s sister,
Iwona Niec Villaire, told WOOD TV.
There have been other issues, however. The Michigan news website MLive reports that Niec pleaded guilty to a 2008 operating impaired by liquor offense in Kalamazoo County. As part of the plea agreement, the plea was withdrawn and the case dismissed after he completed probation. In 2013, a jury found him not guilty on a domestic violence charge.
Disposition of Niec’s case could take months, and his family fears the worst. Niec’s wife, Rachelle Burkart Niec, stands behind her husband.
“He’s an excellent physician, he’s loving, he’s caring, he’s an honorable husband and he’s always helping others,” she told WOOD TV.
Niec’s sister said her brother doesn’t even speak Polish.
“He cannot go back to Poland, a country he doesn’t know, he has no family at, both our parents passed away in the United States, he doesn’t know anyone, he wouldn’t know where to go,” Niec Villaire said.