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Polish-born doctor detained by ICE in Michigan for 1992 misdemeanors out on bond

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- A Polish-born doctor who legally came to the U.S. as a child has been released from a Michigan jail following his arrest by immigration agents over misdemeanor convictions 25 years ago. Authorities say Lukasz Niec posted a $10,000 bond on Thursday and was released from jail in Battle Creek.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials say Niec was arrested Jan. 16 for "administrative immigration violations."

The agency says the 43-year-old Kalamazoo doctor can be deported for the 1992 convictions dating to when he was in high school. He awaits removal proceedings.

The convictions were for malicious destruction of property and receiving stolen goods. Relatives say Niec pleaded guilty through a program to help young offenders and understood it wouldn't be used in a deportation.

Niec's next hearing is Feb. 22.

Doctor faces possible deportation 03:09

Although he's not an American citizen, Niec became a permanent U.S. resident with a green card shortly after he moved here with his family in 1979.

Rachelle Burkhart-Niec told "CBS This Morning" last month that she thought it was a prank when her husband Lukasz called to say he had been detained by ICE. She says three ICE agents came to their Michigan home and put the father of two in handcuffs.

"We need him here. And we're lonely without him and he knows that," Burkhart-Niec said. 

"He is fighting to be in his home which is the United States. He doesn't even speak Polish," said Niec's sister, Iwona Niec-Villaire.

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