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CO man expected to be released from prison, arrested by ICE

20 May 2017

Lima-Marin was sent back to prison after being mistakenly released 90 years early.

Immigration Customs and Enforcement agents arrested 38-year-old Rene Lima-Marin after his release from prison Wednesday. The agency is working to deport him to Cuba, a country he left as a toddler on the 1980 Mariel boat lift.

Lima-Marin is an "asset to society" and an "outstanding citizen" who worked with young people and encouraged them to make good decisions, according to the judge's ruling.

His father, Eli Borges, told the Post that Lima-Marin became a legal resident when they arrived but never applied for USA citizenship like his parents had done.

An attorney met with Lima-Marin and, based on the content of the paperwork, told him that his sentence had been reduced to 16 years.

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Officials say more than 36,000 Cubans are facing orders of deportation for conviction of crimes or immigration violations.

ICE told the Denver Post that a federal immigration judge ordered his removal in 2000, and he's in their custody "pending his removal to Cuba". It's not clear whether these cases are part of the previously agreed-upon list. He has not yet said publicly whether he meant to reverse specific policies.

Lima-Marin was brought to the United States from Cuba when he was a toddler.

"He is in trouble now because of the result of the normalization process which is opening up the possibility, but legally there is no agreement between the two countries to exchange criminals, so he might be in limbo", Arcos said. "But now we don't know what's about to happen", she said.

President Donald Trump has been critical of Obama's efforts to improve relations with Cuba. However, a mix-up in paperwork said that Lima-Marin's sentences were to be served concurrently, meaning that he could serve all of his sentences at the same time. After his release from DOC, he was taken into ICE custody. He was mistakenly released in 2008, then held a steady job, got married and had a son. He was rearrested in 2014 when authorities discovered their mistake.

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A judge on Tuesday ordered Lima-Marin's release, saying it would be "draconian" to keep him in prison and that he had paid his debt to society.

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.

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

"In effect, after its utter lack of care led to Lima-Marin's premature release and prolonged erroneous liberty, in January 2014 the government made a decision to compensate for its transgressions by swiftly turning back the clock and returning Lima-Marin to prison - not through the use of a magic wand or the invention of a time machine built out of a DeLorean, which might have transported him back to his life in April 2008, but through the simple issuance of an arrest warrant, which merely put him back in prison, disregarding everything that had transpired between April 2008 and January 2014", said Samour.

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