René Lima Marín with his wife and two children. Lima Marín is fighting deportation after almost 37 years in the United States.

Cuban immigrant detained by ICE in "remarkable" case, 37 years after arriving in U.S.

Cuban immigrant detained by ICE in "remarkable" case, 37 years after arriving in U.S.

As a teen, René Lima Marín was sentenced to 98 years in jail for armed robbery in 1998. He was mistakenly released almost 90 years early. Despite a pardon, he faces deportation.

René Lima Marín with his wife and two children. Lima Mar&i...
René Lima Marín with his wife and two children. Lima Marín is fighting deportation after almost 37 years in the United States.

Jasmine Lima Marín was preparing to welcome her husband home on Wednesday after a long legal battle to get him out of jail, but he never made it to the party.

Instead, he was detained by immigration agents and could now face deportation back to Cuba - the country he left in 1980 as a baby.

The twists and turns in his case are bizarre and unusual, a case of as yet unfulfilled redemption.

Lea este articulo en español

A troubled teen, René Lima Marín was arrested for kidnapping and armed robbery aged 19 and sentenced to 98 years in jail on several charges.

He was released by mistake 88 years early in 2008, built a career and made a family. But six years later a prosecutor spotted the mistake and he was re-arrested.

A judge on Tuesday ordered his release this week after legislators recommended the Colorado governor grant him clemency.

Judge Carlos Samour Jr. ruled that the reinstatement of Lima Marín's sentence was "utterly unjust," arguing that he had become "an asset to society."

He added: "The government - not Lima-Marin, his family, the community, and society - should bear the brunt of the consequences of its conscience-shocking deliberate indifference."

However, upon his release he was placed in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Denver, according to the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Rene Lima Marín
Rene Lima Marín

Lima Marín, 38, arrived in the United States with his parents when he was just one year old during the 1980 Mariel boatlift. Although he obtained legal residence, unlike his parents he never became a U.S. citizen, his father, Eli Borges, told The Denver Post.

After his first release in 2008 Lima Marín could not be deported as the U.S. and Cuba did not have diplomatic relations. But that changed in 2015 after President Barack Obama initaited a policy of renewed enegagement with the communist-run island.

In January, shortly before leaving office, President Barack Obama ended a long-standing policy of accepting so-called "dry foot" Cubans who illegally entered the United States, opening the door for renewed deportations.

Also this year, the new Trump administration has tightened immigration rules and ICE is under instructions to deport all undocumented immigrants "without exception."


The latest figures released this week show that immigrant arrests are up 38 percent since Trump took office, compared to the same period in 2016, though deportations have yet to pick up.

A group of deported Guatemalans are received at the Guatemala City airport.
Despite increased arrests, Trump deported fewer undocumented immigrants than Obama did in the same period last year
On Wednesday ICE announced a record number of detentions of undocumented immigrants as a sign that Trump was meeting his goals to protect the U.S. border. But official figures obtained by Univision reveal that deportations have actually gone down. Pro-immigrant organizations recognize that deportations could increase in the coming months.

Clerical error, pardon

Lima Marín's case dates back to 1998 when he took part in an armed robbery of two video clubs along with an accomplice who is still in jail.

Both men were sentenced in 2000 to 98 years in prison for aggravated robbery.

But a decade later a clerical error led to his release on probation when officials mistakenly thought his sentences were due to run concurrently and not consecutively.

After his probation ended in 2013, the case was closed. His lawyer says he left jail a rehabilitated person and has led an unblemished life since his release.

He got a job as a window installer, married his wife Jasmine and has a stepchild, Justus, 10, and a 7-year-old son, Jojo.

On Friday Governor John Hickenlooper issued a pardon.

“Law-abiding, very successful, constructive member of society,” Hickenlooper said. “It’s a remarkable story.”


Jason Kasperek, who worked at one of the video stores Lima-Marin robbed, told The Denver Post he still has nightmares about the incident. Kasperek said the governor’s pardon is “a bunch of crap.”

It remains unclear if the pardon will be enough to return Lima Marín to his family.

"Lima Marín remains in ICE custody pending his removal to Cuba since he is on the Cuban Repatriation List, and he currently has final orders of removal from a federal immigration judge," ICE said in a statement on Friday.

Despite a pardon the government could still remove him if it considers he was in the country illegally, said Miami immigration attorney Wilfredo Allen, who is Cuban-American, adding that he is not familiar with the details of Lima Marín's case.

"The big issue is will Cuba take him back?" he added. "Even though Cuba has now agreed to take back deportees, it reserves the right to decide whom it takes back."

If Cuba does not accept his deportation, the government will have to release Lima Marín after 90 days, he said.

Wendy Miranda and Roberto Paulino were due to be married, until ICE deci...
US man races the clock to marry his fiance before her deportation
A U.S. man who is scrambling to marry his Salvadoran girlfriend before she gets deported hopes love will save the day.
Maty Muy, a Guatemalan immigrant, went to renew her work permit at an ICE office and ended up facing a nightmare. Authorities placed a GPS monitor on her ankle and sent her husband to a detention facility. Now, she has taken over the family business – a tire and auto repair shop – while facing deportation.
This is what Greek artist Eleni means when she speaks about the power of the voice. She improvises a sing-along with a group of immigrants, refugees and allies in Boston's Urbano Project and the result was just beautiful.
Eleni Arapoglou uses new sounds and rhythms to preserve her roots. Eleni is part of the U-Lab 'Immigrant Sounds' sessions that celebrate World Refugee Day and Immigrant Heritage Month.
There has always been movement of people, and as we commemorate World Refugee Day on June 20th a group of musicians, activists and community members got together at The Urbano Project​ in Boston to share their experiences and reflect on the diversity that makes up American society: "The direction of where the world is going is encouraging us all, almost forcing us all, to break down those walls."
La cantante Eleni interpreta 'Milo mou kai mantarini', grabada en exclusiva para U-LAB Music como parte de las sesiones 'Immigrant Sounds' en honor al Mes de la Herencia del Inmigrante y al Día Mundial del Refugiado. Featuring Vasilis Kostas en el laúd.
Artist Nora Valdez and youth in the Boston community are sharing their stories one suitcase at a time at The Urbano Project. At U-LAB Music we documented their process as part of our 'Immigrant Sounds' series.
Nestor Duarte was driving his car in Key West, Florida, when Monroe sheriff deputy David Lariz pulled him over and asked for his papers. Lariz is the same officer who recently asked a Honduran man who had been hit by a car if he was "illegal."
Mimi Martinez, 30, arrived to the United States when she was five years old. Her mom stayed behind in Mexico. Now a legal resident, she was recently able to travel to see her mother in Mexico after 25 years.
Although the deportation numbers for Donald Trump's administration have kept pace with the Obama administration, images of operatives and arrests, hate attacks on different minorities, and the President's own pronouncements have triggered alarms in the immigrant community ... and fear. One of Trump's most vocal campaign promises has begun to come true. And we are not talking about the physical wall, but a deeper, taller and more effective one: the wall of fear.
The young man who was allegedly tortured in Venezuela spoke with Univision News as he left immigration detention, after a day after his arrest. "Thank God I'm out."
Belén Sisa, a DACA beneficiary of Argentine origin, uploaded a photo to the social network in which she showed herself with a tax form. The young woman received threats from Trump supporters, but says she won't stay silent.
"The president is calling all immigrants criminals," says Díaz Chacón and adds "I am the proof that we are not criminals." In 2011 and being undocumented, Díaz Chacón, rescued a girl in New Mexico. His story went viral. Today he is a permanent resident and reflects on the latest changes in immigration policy.
The announcement to scrap the benefits came as a bucket of cold water for the Cuban migrants who just arrived in the United States. As this group waits for their papers, the uncertainty grows on whether they will ever be reunited with the relatives they left on the island.
Ramón, who is from Mexico, has worked over the last six years to cross immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border. He shares with us how he does it, the price he must pay to the cartels and the dangers of the journey.
A simple wall is not going to fix the problems on the U.S-Mexico border. The flow of undocumented immigrants arriving to the U.S. is ceaseless, a 2,000-mile border wall is not viable and investment in the Border Patrol has already increased threefold over the last decade. Univision took a trip along the border to examine the complexities.
In the dairy industry in Wisconsin, at the heart of the Rust Belt where Donald Trump won by a landslide, more than half of the workers are immigrants and most of them are undocumented. No American citizen wants to do the hard work they do.
Familia del hispano a quien la policía mató por error en Mississippi busca que los responsables paguen
Según las recientes investigaciones, los impactos de bala que sufrió Ismael López ocurrieron con la vivienda cerrada, pues no se hallaron rastros de sangre a las fueras de la casa.
Cecilia Galliano aclara que no le robó ningún papel a Marjorie de Sousa como se rumora
La conductora y actriz argentina Cecilia Galliano calló los rumores de que le robó un papel en teatro a Marjorie de Sousa. Además, nos explicó quién es el joven galán con quien se le ha visto últimamente.
Carlos de la Mota aumentó casi 20 libras de peso y él está más feliz que nunca
Tal parece que al actor dominicano Carlos de la Mota no le importó aumentar casi 20 libras, puesto que él está muy feliz con dicha situación. Descubre por qué ahora es un "gordito feliz".
Noel Torres literalmente sacó la billetera y ayudó a este vendedor de elotes agredido en LA
Mira cómo Noel Torres no promete ayuda, sino que la brinda en el momento. El cantante ayudó económicamente a Benjamín Ramírez, un vendedor de elotes que fue agredido por un hombre en las calles de Los Ángeles.
Sospechoso buscado por robar restaurantes en el condado Orange vuelve a asaltar
Las autoridades indicaron que el sospechoso ha asaltado varios negocios en el área, amenazando a los empleados para que entreguen el dinero. El último caso fue reportado en la noche del miércoles y la búsqueda continúa.
Josephine Ochoa sorprendió al revelar su orientación sexual y le envió un mensaje a su pareja
La guatemalteca Josephine Ochoa, finalista de Nuestra Belleza Latina 2014, abrió su corazón en redes sociales y presentó a su pareja, dejando en claro que vive su vida orgullosa de quién es.
"Mi papá y otros inmigrantes fueron bajados de un autobús por hombres armados y encapuchados": hija de un deportado
La hija de un inmigrante que fue deportado a México desde Texas asegura que tuvo que pagar 2,500 dólares para que un grupo delincuencial, que opera en Nuevo Laredo, México, liberara a su padre y le permitiera continuar el viaje hasta su lugar de origen.
Tres personas murieron en un accidente vehicular sobre la autopista 101 en Ventura
El accidente ocurrió cerca de la medianoche de este jueves. Las autoridades indicaron que todas las personas murieron dentro del vehículo, como consecuencia del fuerte impacto. Al parecer, el exceso de velocidad fue la causa.
Copa MX
El campeón aún no despierta: Chivas cayó 2-0 contra Santos
Ni en Liga ni en Copa el Rebaño Sagrado levanta; suma 180 monutos sin gol.
Tyson Fury confirma su retiro del boxeo
Por medio de sus redes sociales el británico se dijo agradecido con todos los fans que lo apoyaron en su carrera.
El PSG ya negocia con el Barça tras llegar a acuerdo con Neymar
Así lo indicó este jueves el reconocido diario francés ‘L'Équipe’.
Andrés Guardado admite estar fuera de ritmo tras vacaciones
El mexicano es consciente que necesita recuperar su nivel, se mostró comprometido con el Betis al afirmar: "Poco a poco iré agarrando ritmo".