Paxton accuses NGO operating in Texas of facilitating illegal immigration in new lawsuit

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) accused a nongovernmental organization (NGO) of facilitating illegal immigration in a new lawsuit.

Paxton announced Tuesday that his office had sued the Annunciation House — a Catholic NGO that operates “several houses of hospitality” for migrants and refugees in El Paso, Texas; and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. It describes itself as an “entry point” for many of its guests, which can include those looking for work in the U.S., undocumented families and those who have fled violence in their home countries.

Paxton’s office said it reviewed public record information that suggests the Annunciation House “engaged in legal violations such as facilitating illegal entry to the United States, alien harboring, human smuggling, and operating a stash house.” According to the press release, the office asked the Annunciation House for “certain specified records” to look into possible violations, but the NGO did not hand over any documents.

In response to the office’s document request, the NGO said it asked a court to “decide what documents the law permits the Attorney General to access,” adding there “is nothing illegal about asking a Court to decide people’s rights.”

Paxton’s office has argued it “has complete and unlimited authority to examine business records to ensure that entities operating within the State are doing so lawfully.”

Now, Paxton’s office is seeking to revoke the Annunciation House’s authorization to conduct business in Texas and is asking the district court in El Paso to appoint a receiver who will liquidate their assets.

“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 in a statement.

“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 Annunciation House said in a press release responding to the lawsuit that its mission is no different than schools that teach the children of refugees or hospitals that treat migrants and refugees.

“The Attorney General’s illegal, immoral and anti-faith position to shut down Annunciation House is unfounded. Annunciation House has provided hospitality to hundreds of thousands of refugees for over forty-six years,” the organization said.

“If the work that Annunciation House conducts is illegal — so too is the work of our local hospitals, schools, and food banks,” it added.

The Hill has reached out to the Department of Homeland Security and the Annunciation House for further comment.

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