AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– A family in Aurora was expecting to welcome home a man who was ordered to be released from prison, only to learn that he was taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and may be deported to Cuba.
Rene Lima-Marin, a father, son and husband, was sentenced to 98 years in prison for armed robbery. He was released early by mistake and spent six years leading a productive life before he was once again sent back to prison to serve the rest of his sentence.
On Tuesday, Rene’s wife, Jasmine Lima-Marin, learned that a judge had released him. The next day, Wednesday, she was planning for his return home when he was placed on an ICE hold.
“We just have to wait,” Jasmine Lima-Marin said.
Lima-Marin came to the U.S. from Cuba when he was 1 year old, according to Jasmine. He never applied for citizenship but U.S. relations with Cuba allowed him to stay.
That continued until Lima-Marin was convicted of armed robbery and flagged for deportation in 2000.
He is on the Department of Corrections’ list of illegal immigrants that is annually turned over to the federal government.
When asked if she saw this coming, Jasmine replied, “Not at all.”
Lima-Marin was convicted in 1998 for his role in two armed robberies and sentenced to 98 years in prison.
After a decade of serving time behind bars, Lima-Marin wound up being freed in error. It took the State of Colorado six years to realize that a clerical issue was behind Lima-Marin’s early release and he was returned to his cell.
In the years he was free, Lima-Marin reset his life. He married his high school sweetheart, had children and found faith. He also checked in regularly with ICE.
“He was very vigilant in attending those check-ins and never anticipated it would be a problem,” said Celeste Martinez with Together Colorado.
On Tuesday, Judge Carlos A. Samour ordered that Rene Lima-Marin be released from the Colorado Department of Corrections.
“At the end of the day, the Court concludes that it would be utterly unjust to compel Lima-Marin, at this juncture, to serve the rest of his extremely long sentence,” Samour wrote in his court order. “The government—not Lima-Marin, his family, the community, and society—should bear the brunt of the consequences of its conscience-shocking deliberate indifference.”
A resolution asking Gov. John Hickenlooper to grant clemency to Lima-Marin was unanimously approved on the state Senate floor earlier this month.
Jasmine told CBS4 he remains on an ICE hold in Aurora. ICE told CBS4 it will be up to Cuba whether or not the country accepts Marin’s removal.
“The fact that he has a family could be relevant to whether or not he qualifies for any type of relief from removal,” said immigration attorney Eric Johnson.
When asked if she would follow him to Cuba if he is deported, she replied, “I will try.”