News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton seeks to shut down faith-based Annunciation House

 Director of Annunciation Ruben Garcia holds a press conference at one of the nonprofit's migrant shelters in El Paso.
Angela Kocherga
Director of Annunciation Ruben Garcia holds a press conference at one of the nonprofit's migrant shelters in El Paso.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wants to stop Annunciation House from operating in Texas because he alleges the Catholic nonprofit is “operating a stash house.”

According to court records, Paxton alleges the organization is involved in smuggling because it provides transportation and temporary shelter for migrants.

“The Attorney General’s illegal, immoral and anti-faith position to shut down Annunciation House is unfounded,” according to a statement from Annunciation House.

Paxton demanded the organization turn over a “broad swath of records “on February 7th,"according to Annunciation House. The nonprofit obtained a temporary restraining order from the 205th District Court and asked the judge to decide what documents the law permits the Attorney General to access.

Paxton counter-sued on Tuesday. He posted on X, “Today I’m suing to end NGO’s operations in Texas.” Paxton blamed “NGOs funded with taxpayer money from the Biden Administration” for facilitating human smuggling.

Annunciation House relies heavily on donations and volunteers to operate temporary shelters.

U.S. Customs and Border protection coordinates with the non-profit when it releases migrants to await immigration court proceedings, a practice that also happened during the Trump administration.

The effort has helped the city of El Paso prevent large numbers of migrants from ending up on the streets when there is a spike in asylum seekers arriving at the border turning themselves in to Border Patrol for processing.

“Annunciation House is a critical faith-based partner to federal and local governments…” U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, said.

“If Mr. Paxton believes that Annunciation House merits investigation, he should apply that same standard to Governor Greg Abbott, who has literally transported a similar population across state lines,” Escobar said.

Abbott has bused thousands of migrants from the Texas border to Democrat-led cities.

Annunciation House began helping migrants and refugees in the mid-1980s when Central Americans were fleeing violent conflict and war in the region. Its work is recognized by the Catholic Church.

“If the work that Annunciation House conducts is illegal – so too is the work of our local hospitals, schools, and food banks,” director of the non-profit Ruben Garcia said.


Copyright 2024 KTEP. To see more, visit KTEP.

Emmy winning multimedia journalist Angela Kocherga is news director with KTEP and Borderzine. She is also multimedia editor with, an independent news organization.