In Boston, a horrific, preventable crime occurred not because of the city’s sanctuary status, but because an immigration lawyer, the district attorney’s office, a municipal judge and disinterested FBI agents unwittingly conspired to keep a deportable green card holder in town.
Here are the tragic details. Guinea-Bassau-born Bampumim Teixeira tied up and murdered Richard Field and his fiancée Lisa Bolaños, both beloved physicians, in the building in which the couple had made plans to marry and live. Teixeira, once employed as a security guard at the apartment complex, used his access to and understanding of the building’s layout to rob and slit the doctors’ throats.
|The latest victims in a system that fails to protect the innocent.|
In 2010, Teixeira received a green card that granted him permanent legal residency. But in June 2016, Teixeira was arrested for bank robbery. While confessing to that crime, Teixeira also offered up that he had robbed the same bank two years ago. In both cases, Teixeira’s M.O. was identical: he passed notes to the tellers, and threatened to kill people unless he got money.
But FBI agents that participated in Teixeira’a questioning decided that since he didn’t show a weapon, his crime didn’t merit a federal charge. The FBI’s interpretation of the events was good fortune for Teixeira. Prosecution under federal statues would have resulted in loss of his green card, and probable deportation.
Still, Teixeira could have been deported had he been convicted of robbery. But Texeira’s lawyer struck a deal with the district attorney’s office to reduce the charge from unarmed robbery to larceny so he could avoid a felony charge. The judge was all-in; she sentenced Teixeira to 364 days, one day less than the 365-day sentence that could have generated Immigration and Customs Enforcement action. A few days after his release, Teixiera murdered the doctors.
The Field-Bolaños double homicide is the latest in a never-ending sequence of good people whose lives are cut short by preventable crimes, too many of them immigration-related.
I spoke with a life-long Boston resident and friend who has followed the case since it first made headlines. He told me that the murders show how upside down priorities are. In Boston, failure to pay a parking ticket will result in the Massachusetts motor vehicle department officials hounding the offender to the earth’s end. During their pursuit, the drivers’ license and registration will be cancelled.
If only justice were as swift for bank robbers as it is for parking violators, then the doctors would be alive, and picking out their wedding invitations. Instead, they were buried at Gate of Heaven Catholic Church.