Man freed from prison faces possible deportation to Cuba

Rene Lima-Marin entered a Colorado jail in 2000 to serve 98 years for armed robbery when in 2008, he was accidentally released on parole.

Mark Fairbairn, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Corrections, said he was about to be released from a Denver facility Wednesday, but was found to have an immigration hold.

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

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.

No one was injured (Lima-Marin claimed the gun involved was unloaded), and the pair only moved store employees from one room to another, reports the Denver Post, but Lima-Marin was convicted of kidnapping, burglary, aggravated robbery, and use of a deadly weapon. During the six years he spent as a free man, Lima-Marin got married, raised a family and worked a steady job before the state noticed their mistake and Lima-Marin's sentence was reinstated.

The Latest on a man ordered released from prison and then arrested by immigration authorities (all times local): 4:45 p.m.

On May 16, Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour Jr. ordered Lima-Marin's release in a 165-page decision. He was then immediately detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.

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Under a 1984 agreement, Cuba agreed to take back 2,746 of their citizens who came to the United States as part of the boat lift.

After a decade of serving time behind bars, Lima-Marin wound up being freed in error. But when President Barack Obama ended the "wet foot, dry foot" policy in January that granted immigration privileges to Cubans since 1995, an overlooked policy change established that other Cuban refugees who also arrived from Mariel in 1980 may replace the names of the older or dead candidates from the original 1984 list as long as both countries agree on the cases.

Sebastian Arcos, associate director of the Cuban Research Institute, says the end of that policy did little to settle rules for repatriation.

The Colorado Legislature approved a nonbinding resolution earlier this month urging Gov. John Hickenlooper to grant Lima-Marin clemency. Lima-Marin was sent back to prison after being mistakenly released 90 years early. "The family has shown incredible strength and we hope this is a temporary stop on his way to being reunited with his family". His sentences for these crimes were to be served consecutively for a 98-year sentence and a possible parole date of October 2053.

His wife, Jasmine, said she remains hopeful the family will be reunited "sooner rather than later". About 600 are in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to statistics by the agency. We're obviously all completely devastated by the news but working hard to see what there is to be done.

"Everything has been turned on its head", said Lima-Marin's Denver-based attorney, Kimberly Diego, who added that she is scrambling to find him an immigration attorney.

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