A Texas judge dismisses “riot” charges against a group of 59 migrants
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A Texas judge dismisses “riot” charges against a group of 59 migrants

Border Patrol Agents (CBP)
Border Patrol Agents (CBP)

In a move that sparked both relief and frustration, an El Paso district court judge dismissed charges against 59 migrants accused of participating in April “riots” near the border wall.

This is the third time charges related to this incident have been dismissed.

On June 6, District Court Judge Ruben Morales ruled that his court lacked jurisdiction in the case, reiterating the earlier dismissals due to procedural errors and lack of probable cause.

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El Paso public defender Kelli Childress, whose office represented 14 migrants, hailed the dismissal as a victory for due process, telling KFOX14: “We are pleased with Judge Morales’ decision and believe it upholds the fundamental principle of innocent until proven guilty. “

However, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Colonel Steven McCraw expressed disappointment with the ruling. He maintained that the migrants’ actions pose a threat to border security and that the dismissals undermine DPS’s efforts to maintain order in the border region.

The April incident involved a group of mostly Venezuelan migrants who allegedly threw rocks and debris at law enforcement officers near the border wall. DPS officers responded with force, using tear gas and less lethal weapons to disperse the crowd.

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Civil rights groups criticized DPS’s response as excessive and accused the agency of targeting migrants. Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights, said: “These repeated firings should serve as a wake-up call to DPS that its heavy-handed tactics and baseless accusations against migrants will not stand up in court. “

The El Paso District Attorney’s Office has not yet announced whether it will refile charges or pursue other legal avenues. The fate of the accused migrants remains uncertain as they continue to face immigration proceedings and face deportation.

The case highlights ongoing tension between state and federal authorities over border security and the treatment of migrants.

As the legal battle continues, the El Paso community remains divided on the issue, with some supporting DPS’s actions and others condemning them.

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