Colorado man to be freed early now in immigration custody

Colorado man ordered released from prison after being mistakenly set free a decade ago and then put back behind bars is now being held by federal immigration authorities and facing possible deportation to Cuba.

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.

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.

Rene Lima-Marin was sentenced to 98 years in prison for robbing two video stores in 1998, and CNN reports that he was released improperly from prison in 2008. He was released on parole in 2008 after a clerk mistakenly recorded his sentence was to be served concurrently and not consecutively. "I thank him from the bottom of my heart", she said. "Not all people who are rehabilitated behave that way".

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

Jasmine Lima-Marin had decorated her home with balloons and said she was on standby to drive to the prison where he was incarcerated to pick him up. This led an attorney to tell him to not appeal, saying the sentence had been reduced, which meant he would be released on parole in 2008. "Accordingly, the government is deemed to have waived its jurisdiction to compel him to serve the remainder of his sentence".

Although an Arapahoe County District Court judge this week granted his habeas corpus petition and ordered him released, Lima-Marin found that his immigration status derailed his anticipated reunion with his family.

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He was found guilty of multiple counts of burglary, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and use of a deadly weapon during commission of a crime, though no shots were fired and no injuries were reported. In the six years he was free, he became employed, got married and started a family. "The government-not Lima-Marin, his family, the community, and society-should bear the brunt of the consequences of its conscience-shocking deliberate indifference".

While Clifton, his co-defendant, was serving a consecutive 98-year sentence, the Colorado Legislature approved a nonbinding resolution urging Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to grant Lima-Marin clemency earlier this month.

Lima-Marin came to the United States from Cuba with his parents when he was a toddler during the 1980 Mariel boat lift, but he never applied for citizenship, his father, Eli Borges, told The Denver Post.

The judge said only his release results in justice.

Lima-Marin was moved to the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center where a Criminal Justice Information Services review had determined he might have an ICE detainer. He was scheduled to be released in a few days after an order terminating his sentence had been sent to the Department of Corrections.

Instead, he walked into the long, tangled arms of federal immigration law and is now in the custody of agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

CNN has reached out to ICE for comment.

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