State Watch

200 migrants released after detainment in Texas under Abbott border program

More than 200 migrants are being released from jail after weeks of detainment under a controversial border enforcement operation authorized by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R).

NBC News reported Tuesday that attorneys argue that the program unfairly targets Mexican and Central American men, fails to provide proper translations of hearings and documents and detains people for unlawful periods of time without charges.

Two men who were detained for more than 50 days had criminal trespassing charges against them dropped after a hearing on Tuesday, NBC reported.

Though charges against many migrants are still pending, Texas Rural Legal Aid attorneys helped get 243 people released after 15 days passed without any sign of formal charges against them, according to NBC.

The Hill has reached out to Abbott's office for comment. 

Texas law requires no-cost or affordable bond for defendants who are not charged in a timely manner. The majority of the migrants who are set to be released were arrested for trespassing charges which should have been issued within 15 or 30 days depending on the severity of the charge, The Texas Tribune reported.

Texas has long been a flashpoint in the fiery debate over immigration policy. Earlier this month, thousands of Haitian migrants set up a makeshift camp in Del Rio before federal authorities cleared the space, deporting many of the occupants to Haiti.

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