Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Immigration officers detain man whose prison term was cut

A Colorado man was accidentally released from prison just eight years into his 98-year sentence. The agency is working to deport him to Cuba, a country he left as a toddler on the 1980 Mariel boat lift.

Authorities realized the mistake in 2014 and returned him to prison.

She told CBS that Lima-Marin came to the United States from Cuba when he was 1 year old. 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.

In a 2014 interview, you can hear the toll this has all taken on Lima and his family.

Rene Lima-Marin was sentenced to 98 years in prison for robbing two video stores in 1998, CNN reports. On Tuesday May 16, 2017, a judge ordered him released from prison again, saying it would be "draconian" to keep him behind bars and that he has paid his debt to society.

According to the Post, the US does not control whether or not Cuba will accept a deportee, so it is possible that Lima-Marin, 38, could spend up to six months in ICE custody and then be put on an order of supervision that would require him to check in regularly with ICE authorities and possibly wear a Global Positioning System ankle bracelet. 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. Instead, he called her to tell her that he was being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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The so-called "wet foot, dry foot" policy sent back Cubans intercepted at sea but gave those who reached land an automatic path to legal residency.

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. The attorney advised him to forgo the appeal and instead wait to be released on parole in 2008. Lima-Marin was then released on parole in 2008.

In 2014, his prosecutor checked on his whereabouts and found out about the error and Lima-Marin's release.

"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, " the judge wrote in a court order obtained by the Denver Post. But ICE can request that an inmate suspected of an immigration violation be held after their release from jail or prison under a form referred to as a hold or a detainer.

The reason ICE would take Lima-Marin from the Fremont Correctional Facility and drive him to a Denver detention center is likely because he is a legal resident who hasn't gotten citizenship, and ICE would argue he is deportable based his convictions for crimes in the 1990s, Meyer said.

The judge continued, calling the now-former inmate an "asset to society" and "outstanding citizen" who encouraged youth to make good decisions.

Lima-Marin's wife, Jasmine, was eating lunch in her vehicle at work when she heard the good news about her husband's re-release.

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