'Is there no shame!' Catholic El Paso migrant shelter DENIES running human ... trends now

'Is there no shame!' Catholic El Paso migrant shelter DENIES running human ... trends now
'Is there no shame!' Catholic El Paso migrant shelter DENIES running human ... trends now

'Is there no shame!' Catholic El Paso migrant shelter DENIES running human ... trends now

A Catholic migrant shelter in El Paso has hit back at Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton after he accused the charity of human smuggling - and slammed the allegations as baseless. 

Annunciation House, a well-known and respected migrant charity in West Texas, has been accused of 'alien harboring, human smuggling, and operating a stash house' by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Earlier this week, the top prosecutor in the Lone Star State said he would shut down the non-profit by suspending its business license for refusing to hand over documents he wanted.

Flanked by El Paso's top elected and religious leaders, the director of Annunciation House Ruben Garcia called Paxton's actions an attack on Catholic groups doing the work of the Gospel.

'I personally am taken a back by the use of words like "smuggling." To call our houses of hospitality "stash houses." Is there no shame-- to refer to houses of God, house of hospitality as "stash houses,"' Garcia said. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton demanded documents from the Annunciation House, a migrant charity in El Paso, Texas on Feb. 7

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton demanded documents from the Annunciation House, a migrant charity in El Paso, Texas on Feb. 7

Migrant children from different Latin American countries rest on cots inside one of several shelters run by Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas

Migrant children from different Latin American countries rest on cots inside one of several shelters run by Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton pictured on Feb. 16 leaving a Houston court hearing for a felony security fraud case that he's a defendant in

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton pictured on Feb. 16 leaving a Houston court hearing for a felony security fraud case that he's a defendant in

Annunciation House has been taking in migrants for 46 years, giving them a place to stay, meals and a place to wash up when they enter the US in El Paso after they have been screened, vetted and legally released into the country by federal immigration authorities. 

Most migrants who pass through El Paso are not staying in the border city, with the vast majority traveling on the other places in the US.

Volunteers with Annunciation House also help connect migrants with friends and relatives who can buy the migrant's ticket out of town.  

On February 7, the Republican state prosecutor sent lawyers to Annunciation House, giving the organization one day to turn over records 'without an explanation,' the religious group said.

'The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) reviewed significant public record information strongly suggesting Annunciation House is 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 alleged in its own press release Tuesday.

In legal filings, Paxton pointed to news coverage of Annunciation House, where the the organization admitted to housing 'migrants who avoided Border Patrol' when they illegally crossed the Southern border. 

Migrant families are dropped off at an Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas after being processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in December 2022

Migrant families are dropped off at an Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas after being processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in December 2022

Annunciation House Director Ruben Garcia called Ken Paxton's actions 'immoral' and 'illegal'

Annunciation House Director Ruben Garcia called Ken Paxton's actions 'immoral' and 'illegal'

Migrant children from different Latin American countries wait to receive food at a new center opened by the Annunciation House to help the large flow of migrants being released by the United States Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement in El Paso, Texas on April 24, 2019

Migrant children from different Latin American countries wait to receive food at a new center opened by the Annunciation House to help the large

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