A man who was mistakenly released from a Colorado prison 90 years early then re-incarcerated is now fighting for his freedom again, this time through Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as he's currently being held over his immigration status instead of over his early release.
On Tuesday, a judge ordered the release of Lima-Marin, who had returned to prison three years ago after he was mistakenly released decades early from a almost 100-year sentence.
"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", said Samour.
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. "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", he wrote.
The judge called Lima-Marin a model citizen and said he completed five years of parole with flying colors.
Cubans convicted after that agreement, such as Lima-Marin, are not automatically accepted by Cuba because of that deal.
His father, Eli Borges, told the Post that Lima-Marin became a legal resident when they arrived but never applied for USA citizenship like his parents had done. He was mistakenly paroled in 2008 because a clerk listed his sentences as running concurrently, rather than consecutively. But in 2014, authorities returned the Cuban-American father to prison.
The decision Tuesday ends years of battles by Lima-Marin to be freed.More news: Korean officials meet in attempt to repair ties
As The Colorado Independent has previously reported, sheriffs in all 64 of Colorado's counties agree not to hold inmates for ICE.
Diego says Lima-Marin became a legal resident but never applied for U.S citizenship. She says when he was initially released in 2008, federal immigration authorities told him he had a deportation notice.
"We can't imagine the emotional roller coaster this family has endured", Hickenlooper said. In prison, Lima-Marin said, he experienced a spiritual rebirth, cleaning up his act and working to cut out negative things from his life.
Today, Salazar said he felt "gut-punched" when he heard the news that ICE agents had intercepted Lima-Marin's release.
A spokesperson for the Colorado Attorney General's office said they are now reviewing the case.
"Anytime you're in ICE custody, you're in fear of deportation, " Diego told the Denver Post.
His wife, Jasmine, said she remains hopeful the family will be reunited "sooner rather than later".