Texas Judge Releases Illegal Immigrants Accused of Border Riot

A local Texas judge has ordered the release of illegal immigrants who were allegedly involved in a stampede that overwhelmed U.S. troops at the U.S.–Mexico border on March 31. Presiding Magistrate Judge Humberto Acosta in El Paso issued the ruling during a teleconference bond hearing, arguing that the El Paso District Attorney’s Office was not prepared to proceed with hearings for the defendants.

“It is the ruling of the court that all the rioting participation cases will be released on their own recognizance,” Judge Acosta stated during the hearing. “So, if the DA’s office is telling me that they are not ready to go, what we’re going to do is we’re going to release all these individuals on their own recognizance.”

The decision came after a local assistant district attorney, Ashley Martinez, requested a continuance to hold hearings at a later date. However, the judge rejected the request, according to the El Paso Times.

Dozens of Venezuelan nationals were charged last week with riot participation following the incident, which saw illegal immigrants tearing down razor wire along the Rio Grande and rushing at a nearby border fence. The defendants also faced assault and criminal mischief charges.

The ruling followed the deployment of the Texas National Guard and other local law enforcement officials to El Paso, which is located just across the border from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Approximately 200 soldiers were sent to support existing ground forces and reinforce border barriers, according to a statement from Governor Greg Abbott’s office.

El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser, a Democrat, distanced the city from the National Guard deployment, stating that the city did not request the troops and would not do so in the future.

The release of the alleged border rioters comes amid a broader debate over Texas’ efforts to secure its border with Mexico. A Texas law, SB4, which allows state law enforcement officials to arrest people suspected of being illegal immigrants, remains on hold pending an appeals process.

Governor Abbott has been a vocal critic of President Joe Biden’s border policies, arguing that the administration has done little to curb the flow of illegal immigration into the United States. The controversial ruling by Judge Acosta is likely to further fuel the ongoing debate over the handling of border security and the role of state and federal authorities in addressing the issue.

Related Posts