Michigan doctor, US resident for 40 years, faces threat of deportation

Lukasz Niec came to US from Poland as a child

By Chris Page - Producer, Dawn Jorgenson - Web - News Editor
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Lukasz Niec

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Lukasz Niec, a Kalamazoo doctor who grew up in Bloomfield Hills, has lived in this country for 40 years on a permanent green card, but he now faces the threat of deportation after he was arrested last week by immigration officers.

Niec's wife and two daughters said they are devastated and want to know why their family is being torn apart.

Niec came to this country from Poland in 1979, brought by parents wanting a better life.

Immigration officers arrested Niec at his home this past week, but ICE agents will not comment on why he was targeted after 40 years.

Niec, who is now in his 40s, had two misdemeanor convictions when he was 17 -- one for destruction of property, the other for receiving and concealing stolen goods.

More recently, he pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while impaired in 2008. He was charged but acquitted of a domestic violence charge in 2013. His wife of two years, Rachelle, said he is a good man who doesn't deserve this.

"He's an excellent physician ... always helping others," she said.

Dozens of doctors and friends with whom Niec works at Bronson Health Care have sent letters of support.

No bail hearing is scheduled, and Niec could be held for up to six months before a hearing on his status.

Marc Ashe, an immigration attorney in Kalamazoo, said he thinks it's possible that ICE is now targeting affluent immigrants of European descent to avoid the appearance of racial profiling.

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