Mollie Tibbetts’ Father Does Not Have the Final Word on Illegal Immigration

There’s been an interesting dynamic in the air following the murder of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts. The media was obsessed with Tibbetts’ disappearance for nearly a month. Then, when police closed in on illegal immigrant Cristhian Bahena Rivera, charging him with the slaying, the media backed off and waved it away as one of those cases that would only interest Trump supporters and Fox News viewers. But the media suddenly regained interest in the case last week when several members of Tibbetts’ family, including her father, distanced themselves from those calling on tougher immigration laws.

Rob Tibbetts actually took to the pages of the Des Moines Register with an op-ed arguing that his daughter’s murder should not be used to fuel racism.

“Do not appropriate Mollie’s soul in advancing views she believed were profoundly racist,” he wrote. “To knowingly foment discord among races is a disgrace to our flag. It incites fear in innocent communities and lends legitimacy to the darkest, most hate-filled corners of the American soul. It is the opposite of leadership. It is the opposite of humanity. It is heartless. It is despicable. It is shameful.

“The person who is accused of taking Mollie’s life is no more a reflection of the Hispanic community as white supremacists are of all white people,” he continued. “To suggest otherwise is a lie. Justice in my America is blind. To the Hispanic community, my family stands with you and offers its heartfelt apology. That you’ve been beset by the circumstances of Mollie’s death is wrong. We treasure the contribution you bring to the American tapestry in all its color and melody. And yes, we love your food.”

So, a couple of things.

First of all, the outcry over illegal immigration in the wake of Mollie Tibbetts’ murder has exactly zero to do with Hispanics or racism, so let’s get that straight. Maybe that’s the way Mollie saw it. Maybe that’s the way her dad sees it. It’s certainly the way the left portrays it. But none of that makes it so. The outcry is about the realities of a borderless nation, the importance of the rule of law, and the protection of innocent citizens. It is not racist to enforce one’s borders, and no one will ever tell us otherwise.

Second, Rob Tibbetts’ op-ed is being portrayed as the final word in this saga, which raises an interesting question about propriety. To put it another way, does it really matter what the Tibbetts family thinks about illegal immigration? We would argue that, yes, her family deserves to have a voice in this debate. We would also argue that their voice holds perhaps a little more weight than the average commentator; it is, after all, their beloved Mollie being used as an avatar for the perils of illegal immigration.

What we would NOT say, however, is that their views are the end-all, be-all of the argument, and trust us, if Rob Tibbetts wrote an op-ed titled, “Build the Damn Wall,” the media wouldn’t see it that way, either. He would be judged a racist crackpot, if not ignored altogether. Or they would simply downplay his feelings as coming from the twisted soul of a grieving father. They would certainly not put it on the front page of The New York Times.

But the fact is that the next innocent victim of an illegal immigrant murderer might well have those views. Their family might well be Trump supporters. They may have carried signs calling for a border wall. They may, on the other hand, be Hispanics themselves, with family members who have crossed illegally. They may be people with no particular political view on the subject whatsoever. The point is, it doesn’t matter. Not really. The subject is the subject is the subject, and whether Rob Tibbetts wants to admit it or not, his daughter would be alive today if our immigration laws worked.

How he feels his daughter’s name and image is important…but not as important as the grave threat facing our nation.

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