On Tuesday, 24-year-old Cristhian Rivera was charged with first-degree murder after the body of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbitts was found in a cornfield in Poweshiek County, Iowa. The Department of Homeland Security Investigations confirmed that Rivera is a Mexican national who was working in the United States illegally, Fox News reported.
In a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday, the White House called attention to Tibbitt’s murder and the tragic separation her family faces because of Rivera’s alleged crime.
“For 34 days, investigators searched for 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts. Yesterday, an illegal alien, now charged with first-degree murder, led police to the cornfield where her body was found. The Tibbetts family has been permanently separated. They are not alone,” read the tweet from the official White House account.
The tweet featured a video of other parents who have lost their children because of the careless or violent acts of illegal immigrants.
“We were permanently separated. Not just for a week or a month,” one mother began.
“He was hit head-on by a repeat illegal alien criminal,” said another.
“A known gang member came in the back and he fired the gun and struck my son in the arm,” another mom recalled.
“Trying to get away, he drove over my son’s body, he backed up, driving over him a second time,” said a tearful dad.
“He strangled him and would let him go to see if he was breathing, strangled him, over and over and over until death,” another mother said. “He went to a field a put Josh out, put gasoline on him and lit him on fire.”
“This man wasn’t supposed to be here,” one dad added.
The video closes with each parent saying, “My separation is permanent.”
As noted by Independent Journal Review, the video is a clear response to the criticism regarding family separation at the border. Following Tibbitt’s murder, Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren said that people need to focus on the “real problems” of immigration, like illegal immigrant families who are separated when entering the U.S.
Hours after Rivera’s arrest, President Donald Trump spoke about the case during a rally in West Virginia, saying it “should’ve never happened.”
“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,” the president said. “Should’ve never happened. Illegally in our country. We’ve had a huge impact, but the laws are so bad. The immigration laws are such a disgrace, we’re getting them changed, but we have to get more Republicans. We have to get ’em.”
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds also issued a statement following Tibbitt’s death.
“We are all suffering over the death of Mollie, knowing that it could have been our own daughter, sister or friend. I spoke with Mollie’s family and passed on the heartfelt condolences of a grieving state. Over the past month, thousands of Iowans searched and prayed for Mollie’s safe return. Now, we are called to come together once again to lift up a grieving family.”
Reynolds added, “We are angry that a broken immigration system allowed a predator like this to live in our community, and we will do all we can bring justice to Mollie’s killer.”
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