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Texas Rep. Gooden presses Catholic Charities, other NGOs about role in border crisis

FIRST ON FOX: Texas Rep. Lance Gooden, a Republican, called on several nongovernment organizations (NGOs) to answer his questions about their role in President Biden’s southern border crisis.

Gooden sent the letter as NGOs and federal agencies come under fire for their role in exacerbating the situation.

“Nonprofit groups operating a secretive, taxpayer-funded, and likely illegal operation must be honest and transparent about their role in exacerbating the border crisis,” Gooden told Fox News Digital in a Thursday email.

WATCHDOGS DEMAND INFO FROM DHS, HHS ON NGOS WORKING ALONG TEXAS BORDER TO AID ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

“These organizations can voluntarily provide the documents I am requesting now, or they can be compelled to by congressional subpoena next year,” he continued.

Rep. Lance Gooden walks down the House steps after the last votes of the week at the Capitol on Sept. 24, 2021. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Rep. Lance Gooden walks down the House steps after the last votes of the week at the Capitol on Sept. 24, 2021. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

In the letters to the charities, Gooden peppered the NGOs with questions on their possible role in the border crisis and requested them to “retain any relevant documents and communications related to encouraging, transporting and harboring aliens to come to, enter or reside in the United States, needed for future oversight or legislative requests from the United States Congress.”

“I am troubled by the growing role NGOs have in fueling the drastic increase in illegal immigration across our southern border and throughout the country,” Gooden wrote in the letters exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital. “In 2021, there were over 2.03 million apprehensions at our southern border, a 272% increase from 2020 and a 20-year high.”

“The Biden administration is circumventing the rigorous security and safety standards federal agencies must uphold by deputizing NGOs to harbor, transport and encourage unauthorized aliens to resettle throughout the United States,” he continued, pointing out doing so violates “federal law and regulation” while burdening communities and putting them at risk.

Migrants are seen at the Rio Grande near the Del Rio-Acuna Port of Entry in Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 18, 2021.

Migrants are seen at the Rio Grande near the Del Rio-Acuna Port of Entry in Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 18, 2021.
(Charlie C. Peebles/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Texas congressman wrote that regardless of the charities’ motivations “behind aiding and abetting aliens, this does not grant them the right to violate federal law and regulation.”

“It is irresponsible for Catholic Charities to fuel illegal immigration by encouraging, transporting and harboring aliens to come to, enter or reside in the United States,” he continued in the letter to Catholic Charities USA.

President Joe Biden delivers an update on the COVID-19 response and vaccination program from the White House campus on Oct. 14, 2021.

President Joe Biden delivers an update on the COVID-19 response and vaccination program from the White House campus on Oct. 14, 2021.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Texas Republican has been outspoken on the roles NGOs have been playing in the southern border crisis and said in November he had uncovered a secret operation bringing the migrants into the U.S. with packets on how to assimilate.

Concern over the transport and release of illegal migrants from the southern border has grown with Republicans as the flow continues to pour through the porous border.

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In July 2021, reports revealed Catholic Charities USA’s Rio Grande Valley affiliate had paid for hotel rooms for possibly COVID-positive illegal immigrants released to them from federal custody.

Gooden sent letters to Catholic Charities USA, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), and Jewish Family Services.

A spokesperson for Catholic Charities USA told Fox News Digital in a Thursday email that the “Catholic Church has been ministering to the poor for 2,000 years and Catholic Charities, the U.S. humanitarian arm of the Church, has been caring for our vulnerable sisters and brothers since 1910.”

“In collaboration with every administration since our founding a century ago, we are on the ground doing what they can’t — caring for those who are homeless, hungry, disaster-stricken, out-of-work and suffering,” the spokesperson continued. “Our work is humanitarian, not political, and we proudly serve both citizens and migrants in our country.”

The other two organizations did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

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