America has been shocked and saddened by the murder of Mollie Tibbetts, but how long will it last? If the pattern of our modern media culture holds, the story will linger perhaps a week and then fade into the background in favor of the latest political scandal.
Instead, the story should be treated for what it is, a clarion call to finally repair our nation’s disastrous immigration system.
For many years now, this has been more than just a border state problem. Even in the rural communities of Iowa, our children are not safe to jog in broad daylight. There are many complexities to the immigration problem, but this much is simple and certain: our borders must be secured, and we must be able to properly identify all who enter this country. And yet, there is massive resistance to both of those goals.
Local police have stated that Mollie’s alleged killer, Cristhian Rivera, has been living illegally in the country for at least four years. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) later confirmed that Rivera did not make any DACA requests and the agency could find no record that Rivera has any lawful immigration status. Being Mexican, he most likely entered from our southern border, which federal agents have been warning for years is wide open to unauthorized entry. While a border wall would not guarantee a complete end to illegal border crossings, it would squeeze the flow of illegal aliens into smaller areas where U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents can more effectively apprehend them. Any proposal for immigration reform that does not include a border wall should be a nonstarter.
Beyond his illegal status, we have learned that Rivera was an employee at a farm and that the employer did not vet him through the E-Verify system. It appears that Rivera obtained a fraudulent identity to hide his illegal status, a practice that has become routine among the community of aliens who have largely operated one step ahead of the law. If Americans are to be safe in their communities, this black market of deceit cannot be allowed to continue. The good news is that there are clear steps our government can take to close the loopholes,
E-Verify is an important component of the vetting process, but it needs certain conditions to be truly effective. It has become common knowledge that stealing someone else’s identity is a way to cheat E-Verify under the current system. The Obama administration stopped the process of sending out “no match” letters to employees when Social Security numbers provided by applicants did not match the government’s database records. The government cited high costs as the reason for the move, but raising these red flags is essential to ending the underground business of identity theft that has become a by-product of illegal entry into the country.
Similarly, USCIS has encouraged states to share driver’s license photos to decrease identity fraud. Currently, ten states share this information, but the others do not. This practice is another weapon in our effort and should be mandatory.
In opposing these common sense solutions, the anti-borders coalition attempts to muddy the waters with a hodge-podge of faulty arguments. Among them is the claim that illegal aliens commit crimes at a lower rate than U.S. citizens. The response to this nonsensical, red herring of a claim should be, how many murders of innocent people by illegal aliens should we accept? Is ten too many? How about 200, or 2,000? When someone is murdered, whether by a U.S. citizen or an illegal alien, the damage done to the victim’s family is incalculable. Knowing that the killer was here illegally and should never have been in country only adds to the family’s pain. The same people who cried with empathy for the children who were temporarily separated from their parents at the border seem coldly indifferent to the children who were not only permanently separated from their families, but their lives.
Beyond the murderers themselves, it is clear who bears responsibility for creating the circumstances for these crimes to occur. It is the politicians who advocate for open borders and sanctuary policies, as well as like-minded media outlets that manipulate the truth about the issues while demonizing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and others on the side of order and security. Until the American people refuse to stand for this twisted status quo, Mollie Tibbetts’s name will join a long list of others including Kate Steinle, Drew Rosenberg, and Edwin Jackson as collateral damage on the journey to a lawless, borderless United States.
Dale L. Wilcox is executive director and general counsel at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.