Wednesday, April 17, 2024

A judge decided that the Texas Attorney General lost a case against a nonprofit helping migrants

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In a strong decision, a judge ruled against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in his ongoing legal fight with a nonprofit in El Paso that helps migrants.

The issue started over a month ago when Paxton’s office told the nonprofit, Annunciation House, to give them a lot of documents in just one day. Paxton claimed they had information that suggested Annunciation House was involved in activities like helping undocumented immigrants, human smuggling, and running a hiding place.

Annunciation House asked for more time, but Paxton’s office said no and tried to cancel the nonprofit’s registration.

The judge, Francisco X. Dominguez, also questioned why Paxton was really doing this. He said Paxton was trying to control Annunciation House without following fair rules, and it made him wonder about Paxton’s true reasons.

Dominguez wrote, “There is a real concern that the attempt to stop Annunciation House from doing business in Texas was decided beforehand.”

CNN asked for comments from Paxton’s office and Annunciation House about the decision.

Paxton’s office sent a request to Annunciation House on February 7, asking to see their records. But the request didn’t say which Texas laws they thought were being broken, according to the judge’s ruling.

The Attorney General wanted the documents by February 8, 2024, or Annunciation House would be seen as not following the rules.

Annunciation House got a temporary order to stop the state from making them show their records right away.

But Paxton said Annunciation House didn’t follow the request to show their records, and he tried to cancel the nonprofit’s registration.

The attorney general’s office claims Annunciation House is openly breaking the law, based on an article by El Paso Matters. The article says Annunciation House helps undocumented immigrants apply for asylum, and some are scared to go to the authorities because they think they’ll be sent back.

Annunciation House argues that its work benefits El Paso by helping many refugees and keeping them off the streets.

Paxton’s attempt to shut down the organization is called “illegal, immoral, and anti-faith” by Annunciation House, saying it’s baseless.

Now, both the Attorney General and Annunciation House have to follow the rules in Texas to settle the matter fairly, according to the judge. The judge said the case will be resolved in a proper and respectful way.

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