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HomeGeneralTexas AG Sues Catholic Immigration Nonprofit, Accuses It of Human Smuggling

Texas AG Sues Catholic Immigration Nonprofit, Accuses It of Human Smuggling

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Texas Attorney General
Source: ABC News

The Texas Attorney General has taken legal action against a Catholic immigration nonprofit, levying accusations of human smuggling. The NGO–Annunciation House is known for providing housing and aid to migrants. The lawsuit alleged that the organization was involved in activities like “alien harboring, human smuggling, and operating a stash house.”

Earlier this month, the Catholic organization that manages multiple shelters in El Paso sued the Office of the Attorney General. The state had demanded immediate access to the NGO’s records on the immigrant clients it served along the border. In response, the Annunciation asked for an extension to thoroughly review the information to determine which they were legally bound to disclose.

But the state denied the extension. As a result, the Catholic nonprofit sued the state, requesting the court to rule on which documents they were bound to provide. Additionally, the organization filed a restraining order against the Attorney General, seeking relief from the state’s urgent demands.

Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the organization for failing to comply with the demand. Paxton filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in El Paso County District Court. In a written statement, Paxton said that the suit was filed to revoke Annunciation House’s license to operate as an NGO in Texas.

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ALSO READ: Ken Paxton Drags Pfizer to Court for Inefficacy of their COVID Vaccine 

“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,” he added.

POLL — Should the U.S. Government Create a Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants?

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However, Annunciation House believes that Paxton’s motive for filing the lawsuit is to use the document dispute as grounds to shut down the organization. “The attorney general’s illegal, immoral, and anti-faith position to shut down Annunciation House is unfounded,” the group said in a written statement. 

Jerome Wesevich, a lawyer with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid representing Annunciation House, also said of Paxton.” If a judge sides with the state, the lawsuit could prevent the group from operating in Texas, which it’s done since 1976. “He’s using documents as an excuse to shut down a religious organization he doesn’t agree with.”

The Hope Border Institute’s executive director, Dylan Corbett, supported Annunciation House. “The actions of the Texas Attorney General are intended to intimidate and criminalize humanitarian aid workers and are an affront to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the commandment to love one’s neighbor,” Corbett said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

ALSO READ: Texas Attorney General Slams Sen. John Cornyn for Supporting Foreign Aid Bill 

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In the lawsuit, Paxton alleged that Annunciation House publicly declared that it was accommodating approximately 300 migrants. However, according to Paxton’s claims, these immigrants were knowingly evading detection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents. 

“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. He asserted that the nonprofit was involved in human smuggling activities, alleging that it transported migrants in vans and housed them in what he referred to as “stash houses.” 

Texas is currently constructing a military base camp in Eagle Pass. The camp is situated near the U.S.-Mexico border. The initiative is led by the state’s Republican Governor, Greg Abbott, to restrict illegal immigration.

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