A state district judge has ordered the release of nearly 250 undocumented immigrants who’ve been arrested and jailed since Governor Greg Abbott declared a disaster on the state’s southern border in June.
The declaration allowed law enforcement to arrest immigrants on state charges of illegal entry and trespassing. But the judge found that the immigrants sat in jail for weeks without being formally charged and without access to an attorney.
Texas law requires no-cost bonds for defendants not charged in a timely manner. The immigrants were being held in the former Briscoe Unit state prison in the Frio County town of Dilley which had been converted into a jail as part of the governor’s border disaster declaration.