Why were the media so quick to assume Rivera was an undocumented immigrant?
Cristhian Rivera, the farmhand accused of the horrific murder of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbets in Iowa, was actually a legal immigrant says his lawyer despite the furor over his status in the country that saw tens of headlines accusing him of being undocumented.
The Des Moines Register reports that "The government is incorrectly promoting the idea that Rivera is not in Iowa legally, attorney Allen Richards of Tama said in a court document asking for a gag order in the case."
Richards' document insists that he came to America legally and was legally employed by a large farm owner.
Critics noted that while his crime is horrific, it is important before to know the truth before the media demonize undocumented immigrants in general to establish the actual facts.
All the media over the past day have been reporting he came to America illegally, which is untrue apparently. His employer, Yarrabee Farms, owned by a leading Republican family issued a statement saying Rivera was in good standing and had passed a government background check to gain a farm worker visa.
The immigrant accused of killing Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts is not undocumented, as law enforcement and even the @WhiteHouse previously reported. If you have shared material that indicates otherwise, press or not, I recommend that you correct the record. https://t.co/qqHreoUoUd— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) August 22, 2018
The key sentences read: “This individual has worked at our farms for four years, was vetted through the government's E-Verify system, and was an employee in good standing…
“Yarrabee Farms follows all laws related to verifying employees are legal to work in the United States, and we regularly seek outside counsel to ensure we stay up-to-date on employment law matters. We keep records on all employees and have shared that information with authorities.”
The rest of the statement reads: “First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Mollie Tibbetts. This is a profoundly sad day for our community. All of us at Yarrabee Farms are shocked to hear that one of our employees was involved and is charged in this case. On Monday, the authorities visited our farm and talked to our employees. We have cooperated fully with their investigation.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the murder of college student Mollie Tibbetts by an undocumented immigrant was an “unfortunate reminder of why we need to strengthen our immigration laws” when offering condolences to her family. pic.twitter.com/cyFsXzzhlh— POLITICO (@politico) August 22, 2018
“We appreciate the hard work of law enforcement officials. We will continue to cooperate with authorities as the investigation moves forward.”
This was confirmed in court on Wednesday morning when his attorney Allen Richards asked for a gag order in the case, stating that the government is incorrectly promoting the idea that Rivera is not in Iowa legally.
"Sad and sorry Trump has weighed in on this matter in national media which will poison the entire possible pool of jury members," Richards wrote, referencing a statement from the president citing Tibbetts' death as an example why "immigration laws are such a disgrace."
The gag order request was denied and 24-year-old Rivera is being held on a $5 million cash bond.
ICE is continuing to state that they have no record of Rivera, however, ,despite his lawyer's claims.
It was a horrific murder but it is important to establish the true facts.