Washington Post Chronicles Hardships of Iowa’s Immigrants in Wake of Mollie Tibbetts’ Murder

Cristhian Bahena Rivera is escorted into the Poweshiek County Courthouse for his initial court appearance, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in Montezuma, Iowa. Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared July 18 from Brooklyn, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

In the wake of 20-year-old college student Mollie Tibbetts’ alleged murder by an illegal alien, the Washington Post profiled the small community of Brooklyn, Iowa, which has been shaken by the crime, focusing primarily on the hardships of the town’s immigrants.

As Breitbart News has reported extensively, 24-year-old illegal alien Cristhian Bahena-Rivera has been charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts’ death after police say he admitted to confronting and chasing down the young woman. The illegal alien lived in a region of Iowa that was surrounded by sanctuary cities, as Breitbart News noted, and worked on a dairy farm using a stolen ID and Social Security card after allegedly crossing the U.S.-Mexico border as a child.

In the Washington Post‘s profile of Brooklyn, Iowa, reporter Katie Mettler focuses much of the piece on the small town’s Hispanic and immigrant population which—as she notes—represents less than 2.5 percent of the community.

“Brooklyn’s Latino residents say they have felt welcome in this town, which sits halfway between Iowa City and Des Moines along Interstate 80, but there have been subtle tensions,” the Washington Post report reads. “Language barriers create some separation, and there are cultural disconnects: In Mexico, quinceañeras are a community affair. Here, they are not.” 

Later on, the Washington Post piece highlights how immigrants in the town are suffering after Tibbetts’ death and are allegedly being harassed. Specifically, Mettler notes the hardships of Bahena-Rivera’s uncle:

Rivera’s uncle, Eustaquio “Capi” Bahena Radilla, said he fears less for himself than for his three school-age children. Most days, Bahena Radilla socializes only with co-workers at Yarrabee Farms. Even if he spent more time in town, he wouldn’t know if neighbors were whispering about him — he doesn’t speak English. [Emphasis added]

Adela Fragoso, a 34-year-old Mexican immigrant who babysat for the Tibbetts family and was once an illegal alien, is noted as saying that citizens concerned with illegal immigration are “ignorant.”

Now 34 and a permanent U.S. resident, Fragoso said she came from Mexico with her family as a child. She had never felt unwelcome in Brooklyn, she said — but things seemed suddenly different. [Emphasis added]

Some of her friends on Facebook were making disparaging remarks about undocumented immigrants. One man, whom she has seen at nearby Mexican restaurants, wrote after Rivera’s arrest: “This is why we need a [expletive] wall.” [Emphasis added]

A hardware store owner interviewed by the Washington Post said he feels awful for the Tibbetts family, but also feels the same way for the town’s Hispanic and immigrant community. There were other mentions of the hardships of immigrants in the wake of Tibbetts’ death, where a high schooler in the town says she was sent hurtful text messages and heard students whispering about immigrants.

The Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post has published such pieces before. Take an op-ed published in the Post last year where Muslim Americans are described as being the victims of post-September 11 American society.

“When 9/11 came, the community paid a heavy price. As Muslims and Muslim charities were targeted in terrorism investigations, they had to scramble to mount a legal defense,” the Post op-ed read. “Mosques often had no idea how to respond to media requests. As a result, those labeling Islam a religion of violence spoke far louder than Muslims themselves, and hate crimes against Muslims spiked.”

Tibbetts’ alleged killer will soon stand trial and is currently in prison on a $5 million bond.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder


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