One day after a man who entered the U.S. illegally was charged with murdering Mollie Tibbetts, the White House posted a video of other families who are “permanently separated” because of illegal immigration.
“For 34 days, investigators searched for 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts,” The White House posted on Twitter. “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,” the tweet continued. “They are not alone.”
The video begins with individuals who describe what it is like to be “permanently separated.”
“Their children were killed by illegal aliens in our country,” the video said.
They continue to describe the hardship and how their loved ones were killed and dumped. One man says that the killer “was not supposed to be here.”
Then, one by one, the family members say “my separation is permanent.”
President Donald Trump has not been shy to use Tibbetts’ death as a push for stronger immigration laws.
“The loss of Mollie Tibbetts is a devastating reminder that we must urgently fix our broken immigration laws,” the White House tweeted. It included a quote from Trump, which read, “You saw what happened to that incredible, beautiful young woman (Mollie Tibbetts). Should have never happened ... the immigration laws are such a disgrace.”
Tibbetts’ accused killer, 24-year-old Cristhian Rivera, lived in the U.S. illegally, The Associated Press reported. He has lived in the area of Tibbetts’ hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa, for four to six years, authorities said in a press conference, according to The Des Moines Register.
Defense attorney Allan Richards is challenging whether Rivera was in the country illegally, the AP reported. A court document filed Wednesday said that Rivera was legally working in Iowa at a dairy farm, The Register reported.
“Sad and sorry Trump has weighed in on this matter in national media which will poison the entire possible pool of jury members,” Richards said in a court document, according to The Register. Richards was asking for a gag order in the case.
Rivera was employed by Yarabee Farms, WOI reported. In a statement released to WOI, owner Craig Lang said Rivera was an “employee in good standing” and was “vetted through the government’s E-Verify system.”
“We have cooperated fully with their investigation,” the statement said. “Yarabee Farms follows all laws related to verifying employees are legal to work in the United States.”
Rivera was charged in connection to Tibbetts’ death after he led investigators to a body in a cornfield, the AP reported. That body is believed to be Tibbetts, and Rivera has since confessed to killing the University of Iowa student.
“I can’t speak about the motive,” Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Rick Rahn said, according to the AP. “I can just tell you that it seemed that he followed her, seemed to be drawn to her on that particular day, for whatever reason he chose to abduct her.”
Rivera told police he approached Tibbetts while she was running, but she threatened to call 911 and he panicked, according to the arrest affidavit obtained by ABC News.
Rivera said he blocked his memory and “didn’t remember anything after that until he reached an intersection,” ABC reported from the affidavit. He then began driving to a field and realized Tibbetts was in his trunk, ABC reported, so he got her out and noticed there was blood on her head.
“Rivera then said he dragged the college student from his car to a secluded part of a cornfield and left her in corn leaves, face-up,” ABC reported from the affidavit.
The man is being held on a $5 million bond, the AP reported.
“Please remember, Evil comes in EVERY color,” Billie Jo Calderwood posted to Facebook. “Our family has been blessed to be surrounded by love, friendship and support throughout this entire ordeal by friends from all different nations and races. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”
Calderwood is Tibbetts’ aunt, WHO reported.