An Immigration Proposal Is Back In The Spotlight After Mollie Tibbetts Tragic Death, And It Should Be

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CAPS staff - blogs and news stories on relevant topics.
August 31, 2018
As many people are still trying to come to terms with the tragic death of Mollie Tibbetts in Iowa, familiar questions are being raised over her murder. Questions we have sadly heard before.

Why was her self-confessed murderer Cristhian Bahena Rivera, an illegal alien, living in the United States?  What brought him to Brooklyn, Iowa?  How he did skirt our immigration system?

Sadly, we may never know why Rivera murdered Mollie Tibbets, but we do know a job is what likely brought him to the United States.  Would Rivera have lived and worked in Brooklyn, Iowa without gainful employment? Not likely.

Following Cristhian Rivera’s murder confession, the farm where he was employed was put in the spotlight for hiring an illegal alien.

USA Today reports:

The employers of an undocumented immigrant charged in the killing of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts in Iowa initially said they had run the worker through a federal system to verify his immigration status.

But the owners of Yarrabee Farms in Brooklyn, Iowa, later admitted that they had not used the E-Verify system to ensure that Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, was legally in the country and allowed to work. They had been using a different, outdated system and vowed to immediately start using E-Verify for all future employees.

As CNN also reported, according to the farmers, they believed what they were using, the Social Security Administration system, was E-Verify.

Either way, this tragic story reveals a glaring problem in our immigration system. Cristhian Bahena Rivera was able to live illegally in the United States because he could find employment, and there was no adequate verification mechanism in place to catch the fact that he was not legally eligible to work in the United States. Unlink

This is why CAPS advocates for nationwide Mandatory E-Verify, one verification system that would get rid of the guessing game of a myriad of state-based laws and confusion over how to properly verify the legal work status of workers in the United States. As Executive Director of CAPS, Ric Oberlink, points out: not only does E-Verify help drastically reduce illegal immigration when it's used, it also helps raise the wages of America's working poor and lower middle-class.

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