Trump Immigration Crackdown Trips Up Colorado GOP

9NEWS’ Kyle Clark reports on a fascinating development in a story that attracted much attention at the close of this year’s legislative session in Colorado–a prison inmate named Rene Lima-Marin who was mistakenly released early and then re-incarcerated, prompting a bipartisan push from legislators to win his freedom.

Apparently, no one expected what came next:

Rene Lima-Marin is now in the custody of Immigrations and Customs Agents who – years ago – had flagged him for deportation. Lima-Marin’s immigration status and possible deportation were not known to the judge who freed him, the state legislators who rallied to his cause, or the public which was implored to support his release.

Lima Marin’s advocates say he was brought to the US as a child fleeing Cuba. Cubans special status in the U.S. meant he wasn’t at risk for deportation, until he became a convicted felon in 2000. ICE flagged him for possible deportation at that time.

The ruling this week by Judge Carlos Samour did not mention Lima-Marin’s immigration status. A court spokesman confirms the Judge didn’t know he was freeing a man into the hands of ICE agents. He found out on Wednesday.

Fascinatingly, none of the politicians in either party who championed Lima-Marin’s release from prison were aware that, as a Cuban immigrant, he could be deported for his crime despite having been granted permission to remain in the country upon entry as a Cuban immigrant.

A bill in support of Lima Marin had broad bi-partisan support at the state legislature. We talked to two Democratic sponsors – Rep. Joe Salazar and Sen. Dominick Moreno – who said they did not know Lima Marin was flagged for deportation – but that wouldn’t have changed their stance. We haven’t heard back from Republican sponsors – Rep. Dave Williams and Sen. Owen Hill.

Late last night, GOP Rep. Dave Williams, who gained nationwide notoriety for his controversial failed legislation to punish so-called “sanctuary cities” this year, did respond to the news:

I’m committed to ensuring that Rene is not sent back to a communist country that is ruled by a cruel and repressive regime.  I will still do everything I can to help reunite Rene with his family while respecting the rule of law.

To which we can only say, thank goodness the guy’s from Cuba! Because otherwise he’d just be a noncitizen who committed a felony–exactly the kind of person President Donald Trump wants to deport. We’ll be very interested in seeing other Republicans who championed Lima-Marin’s freedom speak out–not least since their greater pull with the Republican administration in Washington could prove much more influential on this man’s behalf than Rep. Joe Salazar and a bunch of state house Democrats.

Whatever local Republicans do next, it’s a very straightforward question now whether they would have voted overwhelmingly to support Rene Lima-Marin’s release if they had known ICE would be waiting to pick him up. Freshman Rep. Williams may be willing to quietly munch on his crow, but we have trouble believing that will be a unanimous response from the GOP caucus.

Not to mention the soul searching. There really ought to be some soul searching.

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DawnPatrol says:

    Sanctuary and citizenship for a (possibly right-wing) Cuban illegal immigrant?

    GOP: See! See! See! …Um, what’s that?… Oh, ok, sorry — Si! Si! Si!

    Anyone from anywhere else where folks are brown or black, and not potentially right-wing?

    GOP: Nyet, comrade. Nyet, nyet, a thousand times, nyet!

    It's no more horrifically inconsistent or outrageously, shamelessly hypocritical than anything else these amoral mutts do. Clearly, their “compassion” is as self-serving and selective as their “outrage” and “umbrage.”

  2. Moderatus says:

    It sounds like he wasn't honest with the people who tried to help him. If an immigrant legal or not commits a crime they should be deported. Rep. Williams is mistaken in this case, but you can't criticize his motive without being hypocrites yourselves. Either way it's not Republicans fault this happened.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        To the first charge, of having used logic, the court finds the (miserable, sorry-ass) defendant, not guilty — by reason of total nincompacity

      • Moderatus says:

        Melania Trump committed a felony? When did that happen?

        • unnamed says:

          Read the article Michael Bowman posted, dummy.

        • MichaelBowman says:

          I'll start with your own words, Moldy, to make it easier for you. 

          If an immigrant legal or not commits a crime they should be deported.

          From the article you were given:

          The First Lady of the United States reportedly failed to disclose earnings from nearly two months of illegal work in the USA on a visitor's visa, and subsequently failed to mention the offence on immigration documents.

          In 1996, Ms Trump—then Knauss—was paid for modelling work undertaken in the United States while travelling on a tourist visa, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press. This violated her terms of entry.

          The first lady allegedly earned more than $20,000 (£16,000) in the seven weeks before she acquired legal permission to work.

          She went on to apply for a green card in 2001 and became a naturalised US citizen in 2006 without disclosing any past indiscretions.


          The crux of the Trump legal arguments before the courts (An 'immaterial' error on a form is enough to see an entire citizenship application refused, according to a Justice Department lawyer): 

          Under new rules brought in by the Trump administration last month, immigration officials are required to prioritise the removal of any foreign national who has “engaged in fraud or wilful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a government agency”.

          Nobody here thinks Melania is going to be deported.  There are rules for the haves and another set for the have nots.  If you'd stop your proliferation of the word hypocrisy in your posts it wouldn't be nearly as entertaining pushing back on your dumbery.




    • unnamed says:

      Comerade Moldy you Putin loyalist.  Still waiting for my ACA article and explanation from you for why it was Right for Rump to dish on Israel to Russia.  Credible sources only.

  3. spaceman65 says:

    Enjoy your police state, Moddy, until they come for you.  

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