WASHINGTON, D.C. - Representative Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) is weighing in on the controversial decision by U.S. Immigration officials to detain a Kalamazoo doctor.
Dr. Lukasz Niec was arrested by I.C.E. on January 16 for administrative immigration violations. He left his native Poland as a child in 1979. He has two convictions as a teen that I.C.E. calls crimes of "moral turpitude" and they have the right to deport anyone with two such convictions. I.C.E. also said that Niec has 18 contacts with the law since then.
Dr. Niec has been a physician with Bronson Healthcare and announced Monday they were advocating on his behalf. A representative with Bronson said that they were contacting local elected officials regarding the matter.
Tuesday, Upton released this statement:
“This case, and others like it around the country, tug at the heart and soul of our conscience. It is why we must legislatively fix our broken immigration system. Our focus should be on removing those who threaten our country or have committed grave offenses – not productive members of our communities. I raised Dr. Niec’s situation with dozens of colleagues and in our bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus meeting this past weekend. It’s clear we must work together on these issues now more than ever.
“The Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits our office from divulging details of our work on this ongoing situation. However, Dr. Niec has now signed a privacy release form that does allow us to work with his legal team in a constructive way.”
“The anxiety and fear that Dr. Niec and his family must be experiencing is unfathomable. He is clearly a much-respected member of our community and we will continue to work with all involved on a resolution.”
I.C.E. said Tuesday they will hold Niec until a removal hearing can be held.