Wednesday 21 February 2024

Texas Attorney General Sues NGO Over Suspected Facilitation Of Illegal Immigration

 Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing to revoke a nongovernmental organization’s license to operate in the state, saying that his office suspects the organization is facilitating illegal immigration. 

Paxton announced Tuesday that his office was suing Annunciation House, a Catholic group that says it offers hospitality to migrants in El Paso, to shut down the organization in the state after it failed to produce documents requested by Texas. Paxton’s office said it suspects the group is facilitating illegal entry into the United States, alien harboring, operating a stash house, and human smuggling. 

“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,” Paxton said. “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.”

Paxton said that the organization has not produced a single document his office has requested. His suit to revoke the ability of Annunciation House to operate in the state comes after the organization sued Texas to block document requests. 

“OAG seeks to revoke Annunciation House’s 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 court filing says.

Reuben Garcia, the director of Annunciation House, said Paxton’s suit was unfounded.

“The Attorney General’s illegal, immoral and anti-faith position to shut down Annunciation House is unfounded,” he said. “If the work that Annunciation House conducts is illegal – so too is the work of our local hospitals, schools, and food banks.”

A criminal investigator with the Texas Attorney General’s Office said that a source gave them information on the Annunciation House through a staff member with the group. 

“The staff member stated, if a person crossed the border into the United States undetected, that they Annunciation House would be able to assist them and provide shelter at their facility,” the investigator said. “The staff member stated, if the person crossed the border and was placed in a shelter by immigration, then they wouldn’t be able to provide any shelter. The staff member advised the best way is to enter via the Port of Entry, but that is not always ideal.”


“The staff member also advised that they could help a person with paperwork and in the past, they had ways to help people on the other side of the border in Mexico to assist persons in coming over, but currently do not have that available service in Mexico,” the criminal investigator added. 

Under President Joe Biden, record numbers of illegal immigrants have crossed into the United States, with many coming through Texas. The Biden administration has sued Texas over several measures the state has tried to implement to crack down on illegal crossings.

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