Federal Judge Releases Illegal Immigrants Suspected Of Starting Riot

Less than 10 days after a group of illegal immigrants stormed the southern border to illegally enter the United States, a federal judge in Texas has ordered them to be released “on their own recognizance.”

The incident in question took place on Thursday, March 21, at the American-Mexican border, near El Paso, Texas. A group of military-aged men, primarily from Venezuela, stormed the border, attacked Texas law enforcement officials and destroyed property in a riot to get into the country.

Although state officials were able to arrest many involved, Magistrate Judge Humberto Acosta issued an order on Sunday, March 31, that the illegal immigrants held in custody in relation to the incident must be released.

The decision came via an online teleconference bond hearing in which Acosta declared prosecutors unprepared to pursue detention hearings for the suspected rioters. The judge explained that, because the district attorney’s office is “not ready” to move forward with the process, he decided that he would “release all these individuals on their own recognizance.”

Without providing specific numbers, the judge said that “hundreds of arrestees” were eligible to have individual hearings for their alleged “riot participation” within 48 hours. The federal judge also rejected Assistant District Attorney Ashley Martinez’s request to issue a continuance on the hearings and host them at a later specified date.

Others who have been charged for their engagement in the recent riot are expected to attend a hearing presumed to occur on Monday, April 1. Additionally, Acosta approved the release of two separate illegal immigrants who were in jail for suspected cutting of border fencing.

However, suspects would remain in custody should the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency put any holds on their release.

The March 21 incident was met with significant backlash by conservative politicians and citizens, who continue to demand greater accountability and security as the immigration crisis at the southern border persists. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said at the time that the riot was “chilling” and the “result of the Biden Administration refusing to secure our border and protect America.”

As previously reported by the El Paso Times, hundreds of illegal immigrants were involved in the riot. Less than 10 days ago, they pushed through the barrier installed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) at the Rio Grande in El Paso, resisting efforts from the Texas National Guard.

Participants reportedly forced their entry in an effort to surrender to Border Patrol agents to be processed, seeking asylum. Abbott announced at the time that the state’s National Guard and Department of Public Safety “quickly regained control” of the incident and were installing “razor wire barriers” with greater strength.

Lone Star State authorities were “instructed to arrest every illegal immigrant involved for criminal trespass and destruction of property,” according to the governor.