Excuse Me? Colorado Governor Pardons Bank Robber In Effort To Stop His Deportation Process

Matt Vespa
|
Posted: May 22, 2017 12:45 PM
Excuse Me? Colorado Governor Pardons Bank Robber In Effort To Stop His Deportation Process

So, check this story out from Colorado. Cuban immigrant Rene Lima-Marin committed a bank robbery 19 years ago, which resulted in his legal residency being revoked. He was sentenced to 98 years behind bars. In 2008, he was paroled by accident, got married, started a family, and got a job installing glass. Then, in 2014, he was sent back to jail to serve out the rest of his sentence once the state figured out their mistake. A judge recently ordered Mr. Lima-Marin to be released, but not before immigration enforcement arrived to carry out a deportation order from his criminal conviction. In an effort to nix the deportation effort, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper pardoned Lima-Marin. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has said the pardon will not be enough (CBS Denver):

Lima-Marin’s case has become a bipartisan cause celebre in Colorado, as 98 members of the state Assembly, Democrats and Republicans, called on Hickenlooper to grant him clemency. Though the legal roots of Lima-Marin’s deportation order stretch back to actions of the Obama administrations, his detention comes as the Trump administration has moved aggressively to speed up deportations, sometimes sparking clashes with local officials.
“This was a question of justice,” Hickenlooper told an afternoon news conference. “This was a pretty clear example of someone who’s done all the work necessary to earn a second chance.”
It’s unclear whether the governor’s action will be enough to stop Lima-Marin’s deportation.
“I’m not a lawyer,” Hickenlooper said when asked whether the pardon would be enough.
District Attorney George Brauchler, whose office prosecuted Lima-Marin, said Hickenlooper did not give prosecutors time to review the pardon application as required by state law.
“The hasty decision to ignore state law was made seemingly to skirt federal law, and that is not an appropriate use of the governor’s pardon power,” said Brauchler, who is running for governor.
Carl Rusnok, a spokesman for ICE, indicated that Hickenlooper’s pardon would not be enough to stop the deportation.
“Rene Michael Lima Marin currently has final orders of removal from a federal immigration judge,” he said in a statement.

So, because Trump is president—we have a Democrat possibly skirting federal law, even though the enforcement action dated back to the Obama administration. Buried in the story is how Mr. Lima-Marin’s deportation order was rehashed when Mr. Obama ended the "wet foot, dry foot” policy that opened those who arrived via the 1980 Mariel boat lift to deportation. Lima-Marin arrived to the U.S. on the boat lift.

Nevertheless, the man broke the law and got his legal status revoked. That’s not necessarily controversial. Second, it’s not like this was unavoidable. If you want to live and work here legally, and maybe chart a path to becoming a naturalized citizen, you can’t rob banks and break the law. It’s very simple. This seems like a naked attempt by a Democratic governor to thumb his nose at the Trump White House because they’re taking the proper actions in enforcing our federal immigration laws. Add the incident to this ever-growing list: Why Trump won.