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Gov. Greg Abbott initiated a policy in July that called for law enforcement to arrest border crossers on charges such as trespass and vandalism.
A state district judge on Tuesday ordered Texas to release 250 migrants arrested as part of Gov. Greg Abbott's "catch and jail" border policy, the Texas Tribune reports
The arrested migrants languished in prison for more than a month without being charged with crimes, according to the Tribune. Under state law, criminal defendants must be released if prosecutors don't bring charges against them in a timely manner. Most were picked up on trespass violations.
State District Judge Roland Andrade granted a motion to release the men on no-cost bonds after their defense team argued their prolonged
detention was a violation of both Texas law and their constitutional rights.
It’s unclear what will happen to migrants once they're released from custody, according to the Tribune. They could be picked up by federal immigration personnel or released to await possible immigration proceedings.
Andrade's decision follows an investigation by the Tribune
that revealed some 900 people arrested under Abbott's July order to jail migrants accused of property crimes had been detained for weeks without facing charges.
Since the launch of Abbott's arrest spree, migrants have been wrongly separated from their families, faced delays in receiving legal aid and released along the border without any coordination between state and local authorities, according to ongoing Tribune reports.
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