Judge Frees Unlawful Migrants From Border Riot

Migrants breach infrastructure set up by the Texas National Guard on the Rio Grande in El Paso, Texas on March 21, 2024 | Image by Omar Ornelas / USA Today Network

A judge in El Paso issued a ruling on Sunday ordering that unlawful migrants detained after a March 21 riot at the border must be released.

Magistrate Judge Humberto Acosta made the ruling after determining that the El Paso District Attorney’s office was not prepared to provide individual detention hearings for the accused. Acosta said the arrestees were entitled to individual detention hearings within 48 hours, the El Paso Time reported.

It is not clear how many unlawful migrants were detained, but it is rumored to be “in the hundreds,” as reported by Zero Hedge.

Video of the incident, published by the New York Post and reported on by The Dallas Express, shows dozens of unlawful migrants swarming through a gap in the razorwire fence and overwhelming National Guard troops who were attempting to organize the migrants into groups.

The New York Post reported that around 200 people had been detained, with at least 70 facing rioting charges. Nine were charged with assault charges, including one man who intentionally stomped on the knee of a National Guard soldier.

Acosta’s ruling applies specifically to charges of “riot participation” but may also impact unlawful migrants who have other charges in relation to the riot.

Acosta did note in his ruling that unlawful migrants who have a federal immigration hold will remain jailed.

The number of unlawful migrants has dramatically spiked under President Joe Biden, whom legislators often accuse of maintaining “open border” policies that encourage people to journey to the U.S. seeking asylum. A staff report from the U.S. House Judiciary Committee states that 3.3 million unlawful migrants have been released into the U.S. since January 2021.

Similarly, the House Homeland Security Committee has reported roughly 1.7 million “got-aways” — people who cross the border unlawfully without being apprehended by CBP — have entered the U.S. since Biden took office.

On Friday, authorities arrested the so-called “migrant influencer” whose videos on TikTok encourage unlawful migrants to take advantage of U.S. laws, including squatters’ rights and numerous government programs. In some videos, Leonel Moreno has been seen flashing stacks of cash and thanking “Papa Biden” for the funds.

Moreno was captured in Ohio and now faces deportation. He crossed into the U.S. at Eagle Pass in April 2022 and was given a court date to make an asylum plea, according to a statement Friday by ICE officials, as posted on X by Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin. Moreno did not appear for the hearing, which led to a federal immigration hold. His online presence drew additional attention and likely contributed to law enforcement locating the influencer.

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