KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The employer of a doctor detained by immigration officials is coming to his defense.
Dr. Lukasz Niec was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement last week. Dr. Niec has been in the United States for nearly 40 years and has a legal green card and permanent legal resident status. He left Poland with his parents in 1979 and came to the United States in 1987.
Dr. Niec works for Bronson Healthcare in Kalamazoo and Monday the hospital released a statement in support of their employee. They say they have contacted immigration counsel and elected representatives regarding the case.
Dr. Niec's detainment stemmed from two misdemeanor convictions from 26 years ago. His sister Ivona told FOX 17 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.
Bronson Healthcare says that they respect the laws and regulations concerning immigration, but also that Dr. Niec is a "contributing member of our community" and "a skilled and caring physician."
Here is the complete statement:
While Bronson Healthcare, like others, respects the laws and regulations concerning United States immigration, we are following the situation surrounding the detention of Dr. Lukasz Niec closely and are doing everything we can to advocate for Dr. Niec. We have been in contact with our elected representatives and we have our immigration counsel coordinating with Dr. Niec’s attorney to explore all options to secure his prompt release from detention.
There are two misdemeanor convictions from 26 years ago that have been cited by ICE to support Dr. Niec’s detention. 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.
Since 2007, Dr. Niec has been a skilled and caring physician, a valued employee and respected member of the Bronson medical staff. His detention in a county jail while awaiting deportation proceedings simply does not make sense. 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 and he be allowed to return to work and his family as soon as possible.