Migrants queue near the border fence
Migrants near the border fence Photo by: Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez

A Texas judge has dismissed the chance of holding a criminal trial against dozens of migrants who rushed border gates earlier this year, telling prosecutors and public defenders that he didn't have jurisdiction over the cases because they weren't properly filed, according to Border Report.

According to the outlet, this is not the first time this argument is used for such dismissals against foreign nationals who allegedly cut the razor wire at the southern border. The decision means that 59 immigrants will be released from jail.

Authorities can still deport them, he said, but if they don't do it shortly the people will be allowed to walk free. They had been detained in separate similar incidents which took place in March and April, with prosecutors accusing them of rioting. Those involved in the wire-cutting face federal charges of felony and assaulting a public servant.

Local officials have been pushing for migrants to face criminal charges, but judges have so far mostly dismissed the attempts. In late April, judge Morales had dismissed charges against the migrants saying that arrest affidavits from Border Patrol didn't show probable cause that all people took part in it.

The cases were later revived by district attorney Bill Hicks, who pressed misdemeanor charges against the migrants and sent the case to a grand jury, whose members ended up indicting the accused in late April.

Hicks defended his decision saying his goal was holding people accountable and had "nothing to do with immigration." "This is a matter of people committing a crime and destroying property and endangering lives."

Despite Hicks' statements, migrant advocates believe the decision are in fact tied to immigration, more specifically to Texas seeking new ways to deter migrants from crossing into the country through its territory.

Texas has toughened its measures to deter migrants from entering the country through its territory. Since 2021, there has been an overall decrease in the number of migrants trying to enter the border through the Rio Grande into Eagle Pass. This trend has been shown not only by Abbott in recent interviews, but also through federal statistics.

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