We Stand with Annunciation House - We Welcome

We are concerned by the latest escalation in anti-immigrant measures taken by state leaders in Texas, as Attorney General Paxton has filed a lawsuit against Annunciation House, a faith-based volunteer organization serving migrants in El Paso, seeking to revoke their registration to operate in Texas. The attorney general’s office launched an investigation of the organization on February 7th, and demanded the release of documentation within 24 hours. After the nonprofit sought an extension and filed a lawsuit seeking state guidance on what documentation would be legally required to share, Attorney General Paxton announced a lawsuit of his own and accused the organization of human smuggling and other violations.  

Annunciation House has operated in the El Paso-Juarez borderlands since 1976, offering hospitality and hope to “those most in need” who are not eligible for existing programs or services, including the undocumented. The work is done by volunteers with the philosophy that this is not a job, but “a way of being.” We are deeply troubled to consider the far-reaching implications of state officials attempting to shut down a faith-based organization that is trying to live out the ideals that they find in Scripture. We do not advocate for open borders or for a lack of immigration enforcement, but we believe that our laws should not interfere with people of faith living out the call to welcome the stranger or to provide for those suffering at our doorstep. Offering shelter or food to those in desperate need should not be equated with “smuggling.”   

Please join us in letting Annunciation House know that we stand with them in this difficult time by adding your name to this support letter for their leadership and volunteers. For another tangible way to help, please consider donating as the organization is now facing legal fees in addition to their normal budgetary requirements: https://annunciationhouse.org/donate/ 

Dear Annunciation House leaders and volunteers:

We are writing to express our heartfelt concern for your organization and our solidarity with you and the migrants that you serve as you face this unprecedented lawsuit from the Texas attorney general. We echo the concerns of Annunciation House Director Ruben Garcia that, “if the work that Annunciation House conducts is illegal — so too is the work of our local hospitals, schools, and food banks.” Serving the vulnerable in our communities should never be illegal. 

Thank you for the work that you do, and the gaps that you fill in providing shelter and other necessities to those who are often overlooked. Thank you for providing safety to vulnerable individuals and families who would otherwise be on the streets. Your work reflects the words of Jesus in Matthew 25 when he said that “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Thank you for the way you honor him through the love you show in the El Paso-Juarez borderlands.

We link arms with you in prayer and in hope that this lawsuit will not prevail, and that the vital work of Annunciation House will continue for years to come. We encourage you to hold on to hope, as there are many across the country who stand with you. We pray that the Lord will bless you and uphold your cause in the face of injustice.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” 

Numbers 6:24-16

 

In solidarity,

We Welcome

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