If you’ve been following the non-political news lately you probably saw the tragic story out of Boston this past week. A double murder which took place there had all the elements of the beginning of a best selling murder mystery novel. Richard Field, 49 and Lina Bolanos, 38 were anesthesiologists working in the Boston area and were engaged to be married. The successful couple was found brutally murdered in their apartment, raising all manner of questions. Then a backpack full of jewelry was located on the scene. The Boston PD put in the hard work required and a suspect, thirty year old Bampumim Teixeira, was rapidly identified and apprehended after a brief gunfight.
But now things have taken an even stranger twist. Teixeira was in the country legally with a green card (and had been since 2010) but had been in jail until recently for multiple counts of bank robbery. How was this guy not deported, possibly preventing this tragic double murder? Turns out it all came down to technicalities in our immigration system and clever defense attorneys. (CBS Boston)
The man accused of murdering two doctors inside their South Boston penthouse likely avoided the threat of deportation last year when he agreed to a plea deal for two different bank robberies.
According to court documents and an audio recording reviewed by WBZ-TV, Bampumim Teixeira’s punishment for those crimes allowed him to keep his green card and skirt federal immigration laws.
Teixeira admitted to robbing the same Citizens Bank twice – once in 2014 and later in the summer of 2016. At his hearing in September, prosecution and defense attorneys made a joint motion for a 364-day jail sentence.
So they had this guy on charges of robbing the same bank twice (I guess you stick with what works…) and his attorney knew that it could get him booted out of the country. So rather than fight it out in a jury trial he worked out a plea deal with the prosecutors where they would take 364 days in jail for his crimes. Had it been a year or more Teixeira would have been eligible for deportation. Also, he could have been kicked out of the country if he’d been convicted of bank robbery, but despite the fact that he admitted to robbing the bank twice he was given a deal to plead guilty to “larceny from a person.”
Because of that, after serving only a pitifully short portion of his sentence, a few months later Teixeira was fleeing the apartment of Richard Field and Lina Bolanos, their bloody bodies left on the floor and a bunch of their jewelry in his backpack. Why are our immigration laws structured in this way to begin with? And even if we must work under such constraints, why do we have prosecutors and judges cutting deals like this? If someone isn’t even a citizen and is in the country on a green card they are supposed to be under some level of scrutiny to begin with because they are being considered for possible citizenship. We don’t want to automatically terminate that process if someone comes up with a few parking tickets, but one would assume that multiple bank robberies should be sufficient proof that you’re not the type of person we’re looking to add to the melting pot.
Clearly we have more problems in our immigration system than just porous borders and not enough law enforcement officials working on the deportation of illegal aliens. The entire visa and green card system is fraught with issues. We can’t track those who overstay their visas and now it’s becoming clear that we’re not doing a good enough job weeding out the bad apples who wind up with green cards. So yes… we are in need of immigration reform, but it has nothing to do with amnesty. Rest in peace, Mr. Field and Ms. Bolanos. Your deaths could have and should have been prevented, but perhaps this will serve as a sign that we need to do better and hopefully stop this from happening to someone else.