DES MOINES, Iowa — The arrest of illegal immigrant Cristhian Rivera in Mollie Tibbetts’ murder immediately became part of the national debate on immigration.
Gov. Kim Reynolds alluded to it in a tweet sent moments after the arrest was announced.
Reynolds isn’t the only political leader bringing attention to Rivera’s immigration status. Tuesday night in West Virginia, President Donald Trump brought up the death of Mollie Tibbetts.
“You heard about today with the illegal alien coming in…very sadly from Mexico. And you saw what happened to that incredible, beautiful young woman…should have never happened. Illegally in our country,” said Trump.
President Trump continued calling the nation’s immigration laws “a disgrace that need to be overhauled.”
Trump ran for president with a platform of cracking down on illegal immigration in the U.S. and building a wall across the Mexican border.
Iowa senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, both Republicans, released a joint statement on Mollie’s death and spoke out about immigration laws.
The ACLU of Iowa then weighed in on the words of the president and the governor among others. They say the story of Mollie Tibbetts’ death is not about immigration.
Executive Director Mark Stringer released this statement last night:
“It`s unfortunate that during a tragedy like this some people choose to polarize our communities and our state by politicizing the situation and emphasizing the immigration status of the person accused. It`s important to remind ourselves that, sadly, people of all races and levels of citizenship commit crimes.”
The suspect in Tibbetts’ murder, 24-year-old Cristhian Rivera, was arrested Tuesday and charged with first degree murder. DCI investigators say Rivera is an illegal alien from Mexico, who has been living in the area for four to seven years.