DENVER – The Cuban immigrant who won a pardon from Gov. John Hickenlooper for an armed robbery conviction that was aimed at helping his deportation case could soon be out of federal immigration custody and free to remain in the U.S.
A Department of Justice immigration judge terminated removal proceedings against Rene Lima-Marin late last week, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
An ICE spokesperson tells Denver7 that ICE now has the right to appeal the decision with the Justice Department’s Board of Immigration within 30 days. Lima-Marin will remain in ICE custody until a decision on a possible appeal is made.
Lima-Marin received a 98-year prison sentence in 2000 after being convicted of robbing two Denver-area video stores. He was accidentally released on parole in 2008, and reformed himself while out of prison, marrying, having a child, and getting a long-term job.
Authorities discovered their mistake in 2014, and Lima-Marin was sent back to prison for approximately three more years.
Hickenlooper vacated Lima-Marin’s conviction in May and was released from prison, but was immediately taken into custody by ICE officials because he came to the country illegally from Cuba as a child in 1980, and had his residency revoked after his 2000 conviction.
Cuba is a country that only accepts people scheduled to be removed from the U.S. on a case-by-case basis. Those who aren't accepted back to Cuba sometimes receive orders of supervision to remain in the U.S.
Lima-Marin is currently being held in the federal immigration detention facility in Aurora, and will remain there pending the ICE appeal decision.