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Texas Sues NGO for Potentially Facilitating Illegal Immigration

'The federal government perpetuates the lawlessness destroying this country,' said AG Ken Paxton

Texas Sues NGO for Potentially Facilitating Illegal Immigration

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing a nongovernmental organization following evidence that the group may have helped aid illegal immigration.

Annunciation House is located in El Paso where it operates a series of shelters and offers assistance to illegal immigrants from Central America. In addition to food and medical support, Annunciation House connects migrants to legal assistance. The nonprofit began its operations in 1985.

“The chaos at the southern border has created an environment where NGOs, funded with taxpayer money from the Biden Administration, facilitate astonishing horrors including human smuggling,” said AG Paxton in a statement on Feb. 20. “While the federal government perpetuates the lawlessness destroying this country, my office works day in and day out to hold these organizations responsible for worsening illegal immigration.”

The AG’s office reportedly served the nonprofit with a request to review its records on Feb. 7. The organization requested and was granted a temporary restraining order on Feb. 8 by District Court Judge Francisco Dominguez. In turn, the state is now countersuing to gain access to the information. 

According to the filing, Paxton’s office has asked the court to revoke Annunciation House its organization registration “on the grounds that it has violated the law and failed to permit OAG to inspect, examine, and make copies of Annunciation House’s records in response to a valid Request to Examine.”

The complaint states:

Based on public reporting and Court documents, Annunciation House appears to be openly and flagrantly violating many provisions of law in a systemic fashion. Annunciation House staff also made multiple admissions that they had assisted migrants in the past in the United States who had not surrendered to border patrol, had assisted persons in Mexico in crossing over to the United States in the past, and they intended to continue these activities in the future. … By definition, there are no documents to corroborate the presence of an undocumented migrant who is in the United States illegally while residing at one of Annunciation House’s locations except for those in Annunciation House’s possession.

Ruben Garia, the founder and director of Annunciation House, denounced the lawsuit.

“The attorney general’s illegal, immoral and anti-faith position to shut down Annunciation House is unfounded,” he said, per El Paso Matters

“Annunciation House has kept hundreds of thousands of refugees coming through our city off the streets and given them food. The work helps serve our local businesses, our city, and immigration officials to keep people off the streets and give them a shelter while they come through our community,” Garcia added. “If the work that Annunciation House conducts is illegal, so too is the work of our local hospitals, schools, and food banks.”

A hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Feb. 22 where Judge Dominguez will rule on Annunciation House’s request for a temporary injunction.

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