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Texas Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton Sues El Paso Charity Over...What?

February 21, 2024 (1 min read)

William Melhado, Texas Tribune, Feb. 20, 2024

"A Catholic nonprofit that operates several shelters in El Paso sued the Office of the Attorney General earlier this month to delay the release of records after the state agency demanded the immediate release of extensive documentation about the immigrant clients that it serves along the border. The Consumer Protection Division of the attorney general’s office launched an investigation into Annunciation House on Feb. 7, demanding the release of documentation within one day, the small nonprofit requested an extension to review what information the organization was legally required to turn over. The state denied the extension, so the Catholic nonprofit sued the state, requesting a court rule on which documents the group must hand over to the attorney general. Additionally, to buy time, Annunciation House also requested a restraining order against the attorney general to grant the Catholic organization relief from the state’s immediate demands. In turn, Attorney General Ken Paxton announced his office was suing the organization for failing to comply with the demand and suggested the religious nonprofit of “worsening illegal immigration.” 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,” Jerome Wesevich, a lawyer with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid representing Annunciation House, said of Paxton. ... “The Attorney General’s illegal, immoral and anti-faith position to shut down Annunciation House is unfounded,” Ruben Garcia, the director of Annunciation House, said in a statement. “If the work that Annunciation House conducts is illegal – so too is the work of our local hospitals, schools, and food banks.” "