Rene Lima-Marin’s Release From Prison Hits Snag Amid Federal Immigration Hold Over Residency Status

 Lima-Marin’s family wrestles with uncertainty after anticipating reunion

Rene Lima-Marin, mistakenly released early from a long prison sentence only to be sent back after he had forged a productive new life as a husband and father, appeared to be on the cusp of freedom after a Arapahoe County District Court judge ruled Tuesday that his re-incarceration “would perpetrate a manifest injustice.”

But while his family eagerly awaited his release from prison Wednesday, immigration authorities put the reunion on hold — prompting fears that Lima-Marin might be deported.

“We’re just still waiting and trying to figure out what’s going on and how to fight,” said Lima-Marin’s wife, Jasmine, who had decorated their Aurora house in anticipation of a homecoming.

The Colorado Department of Corrections said in a statement that Lima-Marin had been moved from the Fremont Correctional Facility in Cañon City to the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center in preparation for his release, and that a Criminal Justice Information Services review determined he might have an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer.

The statement noted that the department is required to notify ICE of a such a possibility and that the detainer was subsequently confirmed.

ICE has not yet responded to requests for further information about the case.

Lima-Marin came to the U.S. as a toddler with his parents from Cuba during the massive 1980 Mariel boatlift, when he was about 2 years old. His father, Eli Borges, said his son became a legal resident when they arrived but never applied for U.S. citizenship, although both parents did.

Kimberly Diego, Lima-Marin’s Denver-based attorney in his effort to be freed from his prison sentence, said her client’s status was “absolutely legal,” and noted that Cubans have a unique situation among immigrants. She began the search for an immigration specialist to clarify Lima-Marin’s status and hopefully avert a worst-case scenario.

By Kevin Simpson for Denver Post

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