Colorado man to be freed early now in immigration custody

Colorado man to be freed early now in immigration custody

In preparation for Lima-Marin's release on Wednesday, a Criminal Justice Information Services review determined Lima-Marin possibly had an ICE detainer.

Throughout Colorado, the DOC has around 1,050 immigrant inmates that have ICE detainers, costing the prison system "approximately $37 million a year", according to a March report in Westword.

On Tuesday, in a 165-page decision, Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour Jr. said, "it would be utterly unjust to compel Lima-Marin, at this juncture, to serve the rest of his extremely long sentence".

During almost six years of freedom, Rene Lima-Marin married, became a father, became active in his church and secured a job installing glass windows in skyscrapers.

"Requiring Lima-Marin to serve the rest of his prison sentence all these years later would be draconian, would deprive him of substantive due process, and would perpetrate a manifest injustice", Samour wrote.

In an emailed statement Wednesday night, ICE said that Lima-Marin was "ordered removed" by a federal immigration judge in Denver years ago - on November 1, 2000. During his unexpected break from prison, Lima-Marin made himself a new life.

"We know that pardons are granted only on very few, unusual cases, as they should be, but this is also an unusual case", they wrote.

It's not clear whether ICE was notified and took custody of Lima-Marin when he was mistakenly released in 2008. Cuba agrees to consider taking back Cubans slated for deportation from the USA on a case-by-case basis.

Gov. John Hickenlooper released a statement about Lima-Marin's situation on Wednesday: "The family has shown incredible strength and we hope this is a temporary stop on his way to being reunited with his family".

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Lima-Marin and another man are convicted on multiple robbery, kidnapping and burglary charges in connection with two violent robberies of suburban Denver video stores. His sentences for these crimes were to be served consecutively for a 98-year sentence and a possible parole date of October 2053. They had two boys, Justus and Josiah, bought a house. But in 2014, authorities returned the Cuban-American father to prison.

Earlier this month, lawmakers in the State Senate unanimously passed a resolution to push for Gov. John Hickenlooper to release Lima-Marin.

"We're just still waiting and trying to figure out what's going on and how to fight, " Jasmine told the Denver Post.

Lima-Marin was a baby when his parents brought him to the USA from Cuba during the 1980 Mariel boatlift.

The judge's decision was met with excitement by Lima-Marin's family.

Based on the paperwork, an attorney, who met with Lima-Marin in prison to discuss an appeal, told him that his sentence had been reduced to 16 years. She says when he was initially released in 2008, federal immigration authorities told him he had a deportation notice.

Since he was convicted of an aggravated felony, Lima-Marin would eligible for deportation if his legal status is not upheld, according to the American Immigration Council.

Says Martinez: "Rene needs us to continue to fight to keep his family together and stop his deportation".

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