AURORA, Colo. — An immigration appeals board ordered the release of Rene Lima-Marin — the man mistakenly let out of prison decades early, rearrested and eventually pardoned — on Monday.
The Board of Immigration Appeals, part of the Department of Justice, dismissed an appeal from the Department of Homeland Security, according to Elinoff Legal, which represents Lima-Marin.
With that decision, an immigration judge’s ruling to terminate Lima-Marin’s case will stand.
He was released from a Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Aurora on Monday afternoon, the law office said.
Rene Lima-Marin walking out of Aurora’s ICE processing center. The team walking next to him: his attorney, wife and father. All of them have big smiles on their faces, his dad is tearing up. #KDVR pic.twitter.com/OtmhSDa6n9
— Emily Allen FOX31 (@EmilyAReports) March 26, 2018
In October, the federal immigration judge ordered the release Lima-Marin and dropped the deportation proceedings against him.
That was the case Homeland Security appealed weeks later.
The Cuban-born man robbed two video stores when he was 19 and sentenced to spend decades in prison.
A clerical error resulted in him being mistakenly released from prison in 2008 after only a few years.
During his release, he got married, had children and found a steady job.
When his former prosecutor happened to check on his whereabouts in 2014, the state realized Lima-Marin had been let out by mistake.
His sentence was reinstated and he was sent back to prison.
A judge ordered Lima-Marin be fully released from a state prison in May.
When ICE detained Lima-Marin after his release, state lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a resolution asking Gov. John Hickenlooper to set Lima-Marin free.
Hickenlooper issued a pardon later that month and acknowledged the state’s mistake, but Lima-Marin remained in ICE custody.
The pardon took away Lima-Marin’s felony conviction, which lawmakers said was the main legal basis for his ICE detainer.
In August, attorneys for Lima-Marin said he had won the motion to reopen his immigration case and withdraw his previous order of removal, leading to the decision that was being appealed.