Colorado man to be freed early now in immigration custody
- Author: Leroy Wright May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 19:54
Judge Samour noted that officials did not notice Lima-Marin was no longer in prison until 2014, when a former prosecutor did a search for the inmate's name on the Department of Corrections website.
They were among thousands of Cuban refugees who emigrated to the US after the Castro regime announced that all who wished to go were free to board boats at the port of Mariel in what has become known as the 1980 Mariel boatlift. "Because the Court finds that Lima-Marin is being unlawfully detained, he is ordered released". About 2,000 Cubans have been sent back since then, and the rest have either died or are too old or sick to be deported.
FILE - In this May 7, 2014 file photo, Rene Lima-Marin sits for an interview with The Associated Press about the circumstances of his sentencing and incarceration, in a meeting room inside Kit Carson Correctional Center, a privately operated prison in Burlington, Colo.
Lima-Marin was sent back to prison. This week a judge ordered him to be released again, saying it would be "draconian" to keep him in prison.
Lima-Marin seized the opportunity. He has not yet said publicly whether he meant to reverse specific policies. "I have a ton of Cuban clients who are petrified, and they probably should be. The U.S. government may decide to just add them to the list".
Federal immigration authorities say a Colorado man ordered to be re-released from prison after a huge mix up is facing possible deportation to Cuba. As a result, they can remain in the United States but must check in with immigration officials regularly.
When he learned he was being released, Lima-Marin called his wife to tell her the news.
President Donald Trump has been critical of his predecessor's moves to improve relations with the Castro government and promised to re-evaluate the agreements with Cuba.
Rene Lima-Marin was sentenced to serve 98 years in prison for the armed robberies of two video stores back in 1998.
In the six years that Lima-Marin was free, his attorney Kimberly Diego says he found a job, got married, and had two children.
But in 2014, authorities returned the Cuban-American father to prison.
Chief Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos Samour Jr. ordered his release from the private prison on Tuesday saying it would be "draconian" and "utterly unjust" to keep him in prison.
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.
Two Colorado lawmakers signed a letter asking Gov. John Hickenlooper to pardon Lima-Marin in order to remove the legal basis for ICE to detain him. Hickenlooper said Wednesday that the Department of Corrections was required by law to release Lima-Marin to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. "There were changes made by the Obama administration at the end of his last term, and with Trump's current policies there are other things that are a factor here".
Gomez Licon reported from Miami.