Judge Rejects Texas AG in Dispute with Migrant-Serving Nonprofit

(IntegrityTimes.com) – An El Paso County District judge issued a sharp rebuke of Attorney General Ken Paxton in a recent decision involving the Catholic nonprofit Annunciation House. Paxton sued the organization in February, claiming in court filings that his office had been informed it was participating in human smuggling, harboring illegal aliens, and “operating a stash house.” Paxton’s office then issued an order for the nonprofit to hand over a massive number of documents, but only allowed one day for compliance.

The nonprofit asked for additional time to comply with Paxton’s order, but he refused. Instead, he listed the nonprofit as being noncompliant and attempted to revoke its registration. Judge Francisco X. Dominguez ruled against Paxton’s efforts, citing a lack of due process. His ruling stated that Paxton’s “efforts to run roughshod over Annunciation House” made him question what motivated Paxton to stop the nonprofit from operating. Dominguez also expressed concern that Paxton had already made up his mind about shutting down the nonprofit.

Paxton said that the nonprofit had admitted to housing over 300 migrants at one time and that most of them had not been processed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon entry into the country. He cited an article from El Paso Matters, where the nonprofit stated that the migrants seeking asylum did not turn themselves in because they were fearful of deportation. The nonprofit said that it holds workshops to help asylum seekers gain access to the process. Paxton said that the nonprofit works with a local company to transport groups of 15 illegal migrants up to twice per week.

The nonprofit defended its actions, claiming that its services give the alleged refugees food and a place to stay. The judge ruled that Paxton and the nonprofit must continue to litigate the case by following the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure guidelines so that the case could be decided fairly.

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