Prisoner to Be Freed After 'Conscience-Shocking' Move

Lawrence Kim
May 20, 2017

The legal battle ended Tuesday when Chief Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos Samour Jr. issued a 165-page ruling that ordered for Lima-Marin's release.

While Lima-Martin was accidentally set free from prison, he routinely checked in with immigration.

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.

Lima-Marin was about 2 years old when he and his parents moved to the US from Cuba.

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 called Lima-Marin a model citizen and said he completed five years of parole with flying colors. About 600 are in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to statistics by the agency. Before leaving office in January, President Barack Obama announced the end of that policy as part of normalizing ties between Cuba and the U.S.

People who can not be deported have been allowed to remain and live freely in the United States but check in regularly with immigration officials. He has not yet said publicly whether he meant to reverse specific policies. USA officials said in January the repeal of the policy dealt more with cases going forward, and acknowledged Cuba would continue to review case by case when the US government sought deportations.

"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.

On Tuesday, Samour ordered the Colorado Department of Corrections to release Lima-Marin, who was convicted on multiple counts of robbery, kidnapping and burglary for robbing two video stores in 1998 when he was 19 years old. Lima-Marin was mistakenly released on parole in 2008.

2008 - Lima-Marin is released from prison after serving just eight years because of the clerk's error.

Samour called Lima-Marin "a valuable member of the community" who "was impeccably law-abiding" during his time out of custody, and wrote that putting him back in prison disregarded "everything that had transpired between April 2008 and January 2014".

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.

Lima-Marin's wife, Jasmine, said she remains hopeful the family will be reunited "sooner rather than later".

"In effect, after its utter lack of care led to Lima-Marin's premature release and prolonged erroneous liberty, in January 2014, the government chose 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", Samour said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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