Texas Judge Gives Go-Ahead for Release of Migrants Involved in Border Stampede

Texas Judge Gives Go-Ahead for Release of Migrants Involved in Border Stampede

According to a local media report, a court in El Paso, Texas, approved the release of migrants on Sunday who were allegedly participating in a “border riot” that overran National Guard forces along the Rio Grande earlier this month.

Social media videos from March 21 depicted a “riot” at the El Paso border between Mexico and the United States as asylum seekers attempted to enter the country illegally.

Before the situation was under control, a reporter covering the event said that the Texas National Guard was “overrun by migrants” who forced their way past the troops and a border fence.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows that the number of crossings at the southwest land border in Texas in January was 68,260.

This is a decrease from the 149,806 migrants who entered in December, but it is still one of the highest rates in the nation.

Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott and other conservative leaders have tried to pass their own immigration legislation in reaction to the surge, which would permit the detention, arrest, and removal of suspected illegal immigrants. Still, there are legal disputes over those attempts.

During an online teleconference bond hearing on Sunday, Magistrate Judge Humberto Acosta delivered his decision. The El Paso Times reported that the judge chastised the El Paso District Attorney’s Office for not being prepared to move forward with detention hearings for some of the defendants who were arrested in the border incident.

He also mentioned that a Monday hearing is scheduled for additional defendants.

According to the local newspaper, Acosta stated, “It is the court’s ruling that all the rioting participation cases will be released on their own recognizance.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS) made the arrests in relation to an incident that occurred on March 21 in which a group of migrants—mostly men from Venezuela—rushed the border fence and tore down razor wire along the Rio Grande.

The precise number of migrants detained in relation to the border incident is unknown as of this writing, although Acosta stated that “hundreds of arrestees” were entitled to 48-hour hearings for each arrest.

It was unclear, moreover, if Acosta’s decision extended solely to those accused of “riot participation” and excluded those charged with assault or other criminal acts connected to the border stampede.

“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,” Acosta stated.

Abbott said on March 30, on X, the previous Twitter platform, in response to the border riot: “More than 700 National Guard troops surged to El Paso after migrants breached razor wire barrier. That includes 200 Soldiers of the Texas Tactical Border Force deployed to El Paso this past week. Mission: Hold the line & deny illegal entry.”