Immigration Law

Texas AG seeks records from immigration nonprofits, seeks funding sources for 'border invasion' aid

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Ken Paxton

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Photo from the Texas attorney general’s office.

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is seeking information from three immigration and legal nonprofits to determine whether they are receiving funds from the Texas Bar Foundation and using the money to “support the border invasion.”

Paxton’s office has sent “requests to examine” to American Gateways, the Tahirih Justice Center and the Equal Justice Center, according to a Dec. 14 press release and coverage by Law360 and

Paxton is seeking correspondence to and from the Texas Bar Foundation and documents related to the use of grant funds received from the foundation. The requests cover a period reaching back to Jan. 1, 2012.

Paxton said in May he wanted to know whether the foundation was using taxpayer dollars for “possibly aiding and abetting the mass influx of illegal aliens.” The foundation said at the time that neither the foundation for the state bar is taxpayer funded. Grants are made possible by the generosity of Texas lawyers, a foundation official said.

Paxton said his office is now expanding the previously announced investigation.

Alistair Dawson, board of trustees chair of the Texas Bar Foundation, told Law360 that all three groups were “appropriately funded,” and foundation funds are not being used for “aiding and abetting.”

American Gateways provides immigration legal services, education and advocacy. The Tahirih Justice Center provides legal and social services to people fleeing gender-based violence. The Equal Justice Center promotes fair treatment of low-income families in the workplace and justice system, regardless of immigration status.

Law360 and noted that the state bar filed an ethics complaint against Paxton. The investigation stems from a Democratic Party activist’s complaint about Paxton’s failed U.S. Supreme Court bid to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in four battleground states.

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