140 Unlawful Migrants Indicted for Another Mass Border Riot

Judge's gavel | Image by seng kui Lim / 500px/Getty Images

An El Paso grand jury has indicted 140 unlawful migrants who allegedly caused a riot along the border after a judge released them earlier in the week due to a lack of probable cause.

A county judge had previously chosen to dismiss the charges for the alleged migrants involved in the April 12 riot along the border due to a lack of probable cause, as El Paso County Public Defender Kelli Childress argued that there was insufficient evidence and prosecutors were just attempting to make headlines, according to CBS News.

However, El Paso District Attorney Bill Hicks gathered a 12-person grand jury after the ruling to evaluate whether soldiers with the Texas Department of Public Safety had enough probable cause to arrest those allegedly involved in the riot, per El Paso Matters.

The grand jury reviewed the case and determined that the soldiers did have enough reason to arrest those who were suspected to be involved, prompting Hicks to send out indictments for all of the cases that were dismissed.

Hicks spoke with reporters after the indictments and said that “a group of average people from our community, reviewed that case and they’re the ones [who] decided there was probable cause.”

“If people believe that they can come to our country knocking down barriers, endangering lives, causing our national guardsmen to fear for their lives, having to back away and to have that kind of mentality just so they can get up to a particular gate, they can’t do that,” he said, as reported by KDBC-TV.

Childress claimed that Hicks’ office had no evidence and said that it was a “horrific” decision to pursue indictments through a grand jury.

“People are released from the custody of the sheriff at noon. And two days later, [Hicks] is seeking warrants to re-arrest them for a case that a judge already said there’s no cause to pursue,” she said, as reported by El Paso Matters. 

“They have no witnesses. They have no evidence.”

Those charged could face up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000, with Hicks noting that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could still choose to pursue action for unlawful entry into the country, as reported by NBC News.

These indictments come less than a month after a video was released allegedly showing a group of unlawful migrants tearing down a border fence before overwhelming Texas National Guard soldiers, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. Detained participants in this incident were also released, which Hicks likewise criticized at the time.

The riot prompted backlash directed against President Joe Biden, with multiple public officials speaking out about the crisis along the southern border due to a significant influx in the number of unlawful crossings since he took office in 2021.

Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham addressed the incident and wrote on social media that it was “chaos sponsored by @JoeBiden.”

Similarly, the National Border Patrol Council’s official union rebuked Biden for his inaction along the border and said that the issues will only worsen with the lack of meaningful change. 

“The anarchy Joe Biden and his radical leftist mob have unleashed on Americans is despicable,” it wrote on X.

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