El Paso Judge Orders Release Of Migrants Who Stormed Texas Border
CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO - MARCH 20: Irregular immigrants coming from Central and South America who have gathered in the town of Ciudad Juarez on the Mexican border continue to wait at the US border on March 20, 2024, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Razor wire fences were installed in front of the Rio Grande River by the Texas National Guard in order to make it difficult for irregular immigrants to cross illegally. Migrants camped in front of the fences and started waiting for illegal passage. (Photo by Christian Torres/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Christian Torres/Anadolu via Getty Images

On Easter Sunday a magistrate judge in El Paso, Texas, ordered the release of migrants who were charged with rioting after a large group stormed the border, tearing down razor wire and clashing with members of the Texas National Guard in the process.

Presiding Magistrate Judge Humberto Acosta delivered the ruling after accusing the El Paso District Attorney’s office of failing to prepare properly and thus not being ready and “not being ready to proceed with detention hearings for each defendant,” The El Paso Times reported on Sunday.

“It is the ruling of the court is that all the rioting participation cases will be released on their own recognizance,” Acosta said, but court officials did confirm that any defendants who were subject to previously-ordered federal immigration holds would not be released under that order.

The group of illegal immigrants released pursuant to Sunday’s ruling only represented some of the more than 70 who were arrested after the border breach – which was perpetrated by a large group of mostly young men from Venezuela on March 21 — and another hearing for other involved defendants is scheduled to take place on Monday.

The breach occurred at “Border Safety Initiative Marker No. 36 in the Riverside area of El Paso’s Lower Valley,” the Times reported, and those involved tore down razor wire before crashing through the fence.

Some of the defendants were also charged with assault and criminal mischief after clashing with members of the National Guard, and the Times said it was “unclear” whether Judge Acosta intended for those defendants to be released as well as those whose sole charge was “riot participation.”

Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens recently sat down with CBS News’ Camilo Montoya-Galvez to discuss the situation, which he called a definite “national security threat.”

“What’s keeping me up at night is the 140,000 known got-aways,” Owens said. “Why are they risking their lives and crossing in areas where we can’t get to? Why are they hiding? What do they have to hide? What are they bringing in? What is their intent? Where are they coming from? We simply don’t know the answers to those questions. Those things for us are what represent the threat to our communities.”

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