Polish doctor living in US since age 5 faces deportation

A Michigan doctor who calls America home could be deported thanks to two misdemeanors from when he was 17.

In 1979, Lukasz Niec, 43, was brought to the United States from Poland by his parents to escape an increasingly authoritarian government but now sits in a Calhoun County jail cell after three ICE officers came to his home last Tuesday and put him in handcuffs.

He had been spending the day off with his daughters.

"He cannot go back to Poland, a country he doesn't know, he has no family at," Iwona Niec-Villaire, his sister and a corporate lawyer, told WOOD.

"Both our parents passed away in the United States. He doesn't know anyone, he wouldn't know where to go."

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She added, "He doesn't even speak Polish."

The detention is due to two crimes – destruction of property less than $100 and receiving and concealing stolen goods – that he committed over 25 years ago.

Niec pled guilty to the charges and under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, he got to avoid having a criminal record since he was a young, first-time offender.

However, ICE doesn't honor state plea agreements since it's a federal agency, putting the status of a physician with a permanent green card in jeopardy.

"Until this gets heard, which could be up to six months, he could be stuck in a prison cell and not helping and being with his family," said Niec-Villaire.

Niec's arrest comes as the Trump administration continues its war on illegal immigrants.

Just last week, fellow Michigan resident Jorge Garcia was separated from his family at the Detroit Metro Airport and deported to Mexico despite paying his taxes and living in the country for nearly 30 years without ever committing a single crime.

ICE hasn't commented on what caused the agency to look into Niec's case, but a spokesman for the ICE Detroit Field Office told MLive.com he was looking into it.

"The question I get asked all the time is, 'Why do you think this happened?'" Niec-Villaire says. "I just really don't know."

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