A quarter of a century ago, 17-year-old Lukasz Niec took a plea deal on two misdemeanors—a move that might send the now-43-year-old Michigan doctor back to his native Poland, despite the fact that he's lived in the US since he was a young child, speaks no Polish, and knows no one there. Per WOOD-TV, Niec was spending his day off Tuesday with his two daughters when ICE agents showed up at his home, told him they were taking him into custody, and took him to Calhoun County Jail. "I initially thought it was a prank," his wife tells MLive.com of the call that he was being detained. Niec came to the US with his parents (both doctors, now deceased) and sister (an attorney who eventually attained citizenship) sometime between the ages of 3 and 6, per various sources, and since has been a green card resident, which permits an individual to live and work legally in the US.
Per the Washington Post, his detention stems back to his two youthful convictions: one for "malicious destruction of property under $100" and the other for "receiving and concealing stolen property over $100." His sister says he pleaded guilty to the second offense as part of a state program that cleared his record, but per WOOD, ICE doesn't honor that state deal. MLive found other infractions: minor traffic violations, a 2008 "operating while impaired by liquor" offense (his conviction was scrubbed after he completed probation), and a 2013 domestic violence charge (he was found not guilty at trial). His co-workers, however, are "outraged," per WOOD. "He's exactly the kind of person our immigration policies should be encouraging to prosper here," a colleague says. Niec could be jailed for months until a bond hearing, his sister adds. "He would be lost [if he were deported]," his wife tells the Post. (Read more immigration stories.)