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Greg Abbott attacks a National Guard member accused of smuggling illegal immigrants: "He is a traitor, a criminal"

The Republican governor of Texas said the suspect could be sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.

El gobernador de Texas, Greg Abbott, hace un anuncio sobre el futuro de la industria espacial en Texas

Greg Abbott (Suzanne Cordeiro / AFP)

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Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott echoed the public outrage by referring to the case of Savion Johnson, a member of the Texas National Guard accused of smuggling an illegal immigrant. In his statements, Abbott did not hesitate to classify Johnson’s actions as acts of treason, underlining the seriousness of the crime.

“I consider this person to be a traitor, a criminal fighting back against what we’re trying to do in the state of Texas,” Abbott emphasized while discussing the case during a media appearance. “We are using our national guard to repel and to stop illegal immigration. To have a member of the National Guard be involved in assisting illegal immigration is reprehensible,” he added.

The governor also highlighted the possible legal consequences for Johnson, referring to recent legislation that establishes minimum sentences of 10 years in prison for those guilty of trafficking illegal immigrants in the state of Texas.

“This person is a traitor to the cause and mission of the National Guard and will be hopefully put behind bars for more than ten years. But let me use this as a public information message. If there is someone who comes and traffics illegal immigrants and they catch you, you will spend a lot of time behind bars in Texas,” he said.

It is important to remember that Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 4 in December of last year, which makes illegal entry into Texas a state misdemeanor, as part of the state’s efforts to address the immigration crisis at the southern border.

The case of Savion Johnson

Savion Amari Donovan Johnson, a 26-year-old member of the Texas National Guard, was arrested last Sunday on multiple charges, including human smuggling, evading arrest and illegal possession of a weapon.

According to a NewsNation report, Johnson was on active duty when he approached a newly established Border Patrol checkpoint in Kinney County, which had begun operating just days earlier. However, instead of stopping, Johnson turned his vehicle to evade authorities, alerting officers and sparking a chase. During the chaos of the chase, the undocumented migrant Johnson was believed to be transporting exited the vehicle in a desperate attempt to escape. However, he ultimately decided to surrender and was taken into custody for processing by the Border Patrol.

Johnson was allegedly offered between $5,000 and $6,000 to smuggle the undocumented person, an act that has sparked outrage and strong criticism from authorities.