President Trump on Tuesday seized on news that an undocumented immigrant was charged in the death of an Iowa college student to underscore his push for stricter immigration laws.
“You heard about today with the illegal alien coming in, very sadly, from Mexico, and you saw what happened to that incredible, beautiful young woman. Should’ve never happened,” Trump said at a rally in Charleston, W.Va.
“We’ve had a huge impact but the laws are so bad,” he continued. “The immigration laws are such a disgrace. We’re getting them changed, but we have to get more Republicans.”
Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, was charged with murder in connection to the death of 20-year-old Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts, who had been missing for more than a month before authorities discovered her body this week.
Authorities said that Rivera led investigators to Tibbetts’s body, according to The Washington Post.
Trump returned to immigration and border security later in his speech by touting the work of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in removing MS-13 gang members, and knocking Democrats over calls from some lawmakers to abolish the agency.
Trump has made cracking down on illegal immigration and building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border a hallmark issue since the time he hit the campaign trail. He has regularly derided the U.S. as having the “worst” laws of anywhere in the world and called on Congress to pass legislation restricting both illegal and legal immigration.
On Tuesday, as he ostensibly rallied for U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Morrissey, Trump stressed that electing more Republicans will lead to a stronger border.
“A blue wave in November means open borders which means massive crime. a red wave means safety and strength,” Trump said.
This was a sad and tragic event by an illegal immigrant, but it is *A* sad and tragic event, meaning this is just one instance. Policy needs to reflect data, which unequivocally shows that immigrants (both legal and illegal) commit crimes at far lower rates than the native population.