A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson confirmed that dozens of illegal aliens who were accused of violently storming the border in El Paso were released into the United States. 

On March 21, video footage from a reporter at the border showed hundreds of illegal border crossers rioting and attempting to get around the Texas National Guard at the border. The foreign nationals used a break in the fencing—that the Texas National Guard was attempting to repair—to push past the guardsmen. 

As a result, 214 illegal aliens were charged by the Texas Department of Public Safety with a state Class B misdemeanor, and nine were charged with felony rioting and/or criminal mischief and assault.

However, in May, an El Paso judge dismissed the criminal charges against all the illegal aliens. The illegal aliens were then released from state custody and handed over to ICE, which allowed 43 of them to be released into the country, according to a spokesman. 

“ERO [Enforcement and Removal Operations] officers make decisions on associated enforcement actions and apply prosecutorial discretion, where applicable, in a responsible manner, informed by their experience as law enforcement professionals and in a way that best protects the communities we serve,” the ICE spokesperson told The New York Post.

The spokesperson said that while ICE has released dozens of the illegal aliens accused of partaking in the riot, the agency has also kept 32 in custody pending court hearings and 105 in detention pending removal, while another 43 have been deported from the U.S.

Although Senate Bill 4—a Texas law making it a state crime for individuals to enter the country illegally—is currently on hold, Texas has armed its soldiers and state troopers with nonlethal pepper ball guns. 

A National Guard source told The New York Post that the use of the guns has “made a massive difference” and has made “soldiers so much safer.”

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.