EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – On Dec. 14, Gov. Greg Abbott called for an investigation in El Paso NGOs for their supposed role in assisting illegal border crossings into Texas.

NGOs are Non-Government Organizations groups that are usually non-profit and help to address social or political issues. Abbott did send a letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton which said in part,

“There have been recent reports that non-governmental organizations may have assisted with illegal border crossings near El Paso, in light of these reports, I am calling on the Texas Attorney General’s Office to initiate an investigation into the role of NGOs in planning and facilitating the illegal transportation of illegal immigrants across our borders.”

However according to Border Network for Human Rights Executive Director Fernando Garcia, these accusations are criminalizing local organizations.

“It is shameful that he’s actually trying to not only criminalize immigrants which he has already done with operation lone star and now criminalizing organizations themselves that are supporting the humanitarian efforts these humanitarian efforts these immigrant families.”

Dylan Corbett with Hope Border Institute also released a statement regarding Abbott’s release by saying,

“The language coming from the governor’s office is alarming and an unequivocal attempt to intimidate humanitarian organizations working on the front lines to provide a robust community response to the situation at the border. We have worked for years to ensure safe and legal pathways for those seeking protection and asylum. This is a moment for border communities to come together to meet a humanitarian challenge. We need the support and collaboration of the government at all levels, not political grandstanding that dangerously sounds like the governor is criminalizing Good Samaritans.”

Despite the accusations, BNHR and Hope Border Institute plans to continue their work with the migrants by providing them with necessary resources.

“Obviously were going to continue our mission our mission our theory and our practices to defend and promote human civil rights and were going to continue doing that and I think were not changing anything.”

For local and breaking news, sports, weather alerts, video and more, download the FREE KTSM 9 News App from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store