It’s a story that could serve as a warning for green card holders across the United States.
The Washington Post Reports a doctor of Polish descent living in Michigan was arrested at his home by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
The newspaper states the arrest shocked his family, friends, and coworkers because Lukasz Niec has been living in the United States with a green card for 40 years.
Niec’s sister even told the Washington Post her brother does not speak Polish but now finds himself in a situation that could lead to his deportation.
Niec was arrested by ICE agents on January 16th and a week later remained in custody awaiting a bail hearing, according to the Washington Post.
The newspaper reports his “notice to appear” from the Department of Homeland Security states his arrest is due to two misdemeanor convictions from 26 years ago.
In January 1992, Niec was convicted of malicious destruction of property under $100. Later in April of that year, he was convicted of concealing property over $100.
Immigration officers write because he was convicted of two crimes of “moral turpitude,” he is subject to removal.
According to the Washington Post, one of the crimes was erased from his public record after a plea deal but the crime can still be used to determine his immigration status.
Green card holders are not immune from deportation and they can be targeted for removal if they are convicted of certain crimes.
Niec’s wife told the Washington Post they considered filing for citizenship but because of their hectic schedules, hadn’t gotten around to the paperwork.
Niec has been a doctor in Michigan for more than 10 years. His family is now looking into hiring an attorney to help in Niec’s case.
“He can’t be deported,” his wife told the Washington Post. “He can’t speak Polish. He wouldn’t know where to go. He would be lost.”
The Trump administration has been aggressively targeting immigrants with criminal records.
In November 2017 ICE released information showing immigration arrests have climbed 40% over the previous year.
Becoming a U.S. citizen is the only way to protect against deportation.
You can find out if you’re eligible for citizenship by just answering a few simple questions.
Get your application started right away.