Texas sues to stop NGO aiding in human smuggling at US-Mexico border

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) claims that Annunciation House has "engaged in legal violations such as facilitating illegal entry to the United States, alien harboring, human smuggling, and operating a stash house."

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
On Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) announced that he is suing to end the operations of a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the state of Texas. Paxton claims that these taxpayer-funded organizations facilitate human smuggling and worsen illegal immigration.

"Today, I'm suing to end NGO's operations in Texas. 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 wrote on X. "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."

In a press release, Paxton's Office said that they have sued to revoke the operating registration for Annunciation House, which is a Catholic NGO. 

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) claims in the lawsuit that Annunciation House has "engaged in legal violations such as facilitating illegal entry to the United States, alien harboring, human smuggling, and operating a stash house."

Paxton's Office said that they filed the suit after reviewing significant public record information that backs their claims.

The OAG claims that they demanded access to certain specified records to evaluate potential legal violations but Annunciation House failed to comply with their request.

In response to the request, Annunciation House sued the OAG to prevent the Attorney General from obtaining the requested documents.

The OAG said that due to the NGO's "flagrant failure to comply," the Office may terminate the business's right to operate in Texas.

The OAG lawsuit "seeks to revoke Annunciation House's authorization to do business in Texas and asks the court to appoint a receiver to liquidate their assets."

Annunciation House began operating as a Catholic nonprofit in Texas in the 1980s. 

The organization describes itself as a volunteer organization that "offers hospitality to migrants, immigrants, and refugees in El Paso, Texas."

"Rooted in Catholic social teaching, the volunteers of Annunciation House live simply and in community, in the same houses as the guests we serve, who are mostly from Mexico and Central America," the organization's website states. "We also participate in advocacy and education around immigration issues. We seek to be a voice for justice and compassion, especially on behalf of the most marginalized of our society."

Annunciation House called Paxton's lawsuit "shameful" and said in a statement to Fox News: "This is no different from the work of schools who enroll migrant children, the clinics and hospitals who care for the needs of their ill, the churches, synagogues, and mosques who welcome their families to join in worship."

"For the Attorney General to suddenly attack Annunciation House after forty-six years of service to the poor is simply shameful," the nonprofit said.

The legal battle comes amid a historic border crisis that has greatly impacted the state of Texas. Over the past few years, Texas has fought to increase broader border security measures, while the federal government has fought to keep the US-Southern border open, embracing the role of NGOs and providing them with millions of dollars in taxpayer funds that aid illegal immigration.
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