Colorado man to be freed early now in immigration custody

There was no immediate word from the state Department of Corrections on when Lima-Marin would be released from a prison in southern Colorado, the newspaper reported.

Rene Lima-Marin, 36, was preparing to be released from prison again Wednesday after Arapahoe County Chief District Judge Carlos Samour ordered his release and called his reincarceration "utterly unjust".

Lima-Marin never applied for citizenship, his father, Eli Borges, told The Denver Post. 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. The decision regarding Lima-Marin's case is also now being reviewed by the Colorado Attorney General's office.

Sebastian Arcos, associate director of the Cuban Research Institute, says the end of that policy did little to settle rules for repatriation. "I have a ton of Cuban clients who are petrified, and they probably should be".

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. If Cuba refuses to accept him, he could be allowed to remain in the United States with orders to check in regularly with immigration officials. Instead, he called her to tell her that he was being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

When Lima-Marin arrived to South Florida, the so-called "wet foot, dry foot" policy allowed him and other Cubans who reached US land an automatic path to legal residency. He has promised to re-evaluate the agreements with Cuba although proceeding on the path set by Obama could possibly make it easier to eventually deport immigrants from Cuba.

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Lima-Marin, who came to the USA from Cuba with his parents when he was a toddler during the 1980 Mariel boat lift, was convicted in 2000 of multiple robbery, kidnapping and burglary counts after he and another man robbed two video stores at gunpoint. He was mistakenly paroled in 2008 because a clerk listed his sentences as running concurrently, rather than consecutively.

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.

He rebuilt his life, only to be taken back into custody in 2014 after authorities realized their mistake.

Lima-Marin's co-defendant, Michael Clifton, is serving a 98-year sentence. Now, while the judge said let him go, ICE says no, and Lima-Martin as well as his family, are unsure what will happen from here, but he currently remains in ICE custody. "The family has shown fantastic strength and we hope this is a temporary stop on his way to being reunited with his family", he said.

The Colorado Department of Corrections said in a statement that Lima-Marin had been moved from the Fremont Correctional Facility in Cañon City to the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center in preparation for his release, and that a Criminal Justice Information Services review determined he might have an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer.

"If all these things hadn't changed under Trump I could think that it's a misunderstanding that would be cleared up".

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