By Jesse Stiller
Rob Tibbetts, the father of college student Mollie Tibbetts, who was murdered while on a jog this summer, reached out to political figures and advocates in an opinion piece published in the Des Moines Register on Sept. 1.
In the piece, Tibbetts urged individuals to not exploit his daughter’s death with the intention to “promote racism” or to use her death as a mouthpiece for illegal immigration.
“I encourage the debate on immigration; there is great merit in its reasonable outcome, But do not appropriate Mollie’s soul in advancing views she believed were profoundly racist,” Tibbetts wrote.
Mollie Tibbetts went missing on July 18 while jogging near her home in Brooklyn, Iowa.
The suspect in the case, Cristhian Rivera, 24, has been charged with first degree murder. After a month-long search, Rivera was arrested and led investigators to her body in a cornfield just outside of her house, according to the New York Post.
Rivera, who is an undocumented immigrant, claimed he blacked out during the time of the murder.
Rivera was legally employed by an Iowa farm for almost four years before the crime took place. He completed a background check using stolen identification documents, according to the Washington Post.
In a column written by President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., released on Aug. 31 in the Des Moines Register, Trump. Jr argued that Democrats indirectly caused Mollie’s death and opposed claims that Republicans and conservatives were taking advantage of her murder, according to The New York Times.
Trump Jr. said that the Democrats’ “mask was off” and accused Democrats of fighting off policies that would, according to his column, strengthen the borders.
Trump Jr. went on to state the Democrats opt instead for an open-border policy that threatens innocent Americans.
In his plea, Tibbetts wrote that while he appreciated the debate on immigration in America, he requested that Mollie’s death and the family be left out of the discussion, according to the Des Moines Register.
“At her eulogy, I said Mollie was nobody’s victim,” Tibbetts wrote. “Nor is she a pawn in others’ debate. She may not be able to speak for herself, but I can and will. Please leave us out of your debate. Allow us to grieve in privacy and with dignity. At long last, show some decency.”
Tibbetts’ death adds fuel to a nationwide debate on immigration, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and border security in the U.S., causing more strife in an already tense political landscape.