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As of Wednesday, August 22, 2018, new information has potentially come to light surrounding the death of Mollie Tibbetts and the subsequent accusation upon Cristhian Rivera, an immigrant from Mexico who has confessed to killing the 20-year-old. On July 18th, 2018, Mollie Tibbetts was seeing for the last time jogging on her usual route in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa. A recent break through lead police to check surveillance footage and identify the alleged attacker as being Cristhian Rivera, who worked at Yarrabee Farms under the employment of Craig Lang. On Tuesday, Rivera led police to the location where he supposedly left her body after “blacking out” and abducting her to then murder her. He is being charged with first-degree murder. As News outlets revealed the new updates in the case, reports of Rivera being an undocumented immigrant began to surface and quickly became a key component of the case, which is heading to trial on August 31st.
Politicians, including Donald Trump, were quick to comment on the situation, with Donald Trump stating “You saw what happened to that incredible, beautiful young woman. Should have never happened … the immigration laws are such a disgrace.” People quickly responded, one of those people being Billie Jo Calderwood, the aunt of Mollie Tibbetts, in which she replied “ Please remember, Evil comes in EVERY color” (Billie Jo Calderwood via Facebook, August 21st, 2018), indirectly speaking about her disdain for using Mollie’s case as a way to promote political agendas. As of Wednesday, August 22nd, Rivera‘s lawyer filed an ocean with the court stating that he was not in fact an undocumented immigrants, but had the correct papers and was registered to be working at Yarrabee Farms. Craig Lang, his employer, has also stated that Rivera is not illegal. As Wednesday progresses however, questions are raised as to if Rivera used false identification well working under lay in as Wednesday progresses however, questions are raised as to if Rivera used false identification well working under Lang. Many questions are still unanswered, but the case provokes interesting questions regarding Rivera’s immigration status and the resulting ability to have a fair trial as politicians have already commented and most jury candidates will have been corrupted by this point.
This relates to U.S. Government as although the case itself is most certainly a tragedy, the public has been focusing most of its attention on whether or not Rivera was legally in the United States, and many are advocating he is not, potentially to serve as support for proposed anti-immigration legislation. As such, the case makes an important connection to the hostile environment in the United States surrounding immigration currently and in prior years. According to “American Government: Roots and Reform 2011 Edition” by Karen O’Connor, Larry J. Sabato, and Alixandra B. Yanus, people of Hispanic descent have become the second largest ethnic group in the United States, and their Choice to not assimilate into American culture has been a long-running issue in the United States government with concerns as to if assimilation should be forced or if the United States should adopt more of a multicultural approach, potentially by adopting both Spanish and English as its official languages. This issue has led to a host of racist and discriminatory presumptions made about Hispanic people, even when they are American citizens.
The system to obtain a green card takes on average seven years, and in many situations in South America situations are so dire that waiting for legal immigration to become an option is simply not possible. Thus, the illegal immigration of thousands of Hispanic people has led to major discontent as some Americans fear that these people will damage the economy and are dangerous criminals with bad intentions. The latter belief is prevalent in Mollie Tibbetts’ case, and may prove to be detrimental to achieving a fair and just trial, which is promised under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, a pivotal document that defines American democracy and policy.
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