The GOP keeps attacking undocumented immigrants for being murderers, and claiming Democrats are responsible.
It’s true that maybe .001% of all murders in the United States are committed by people who have come into the United States without proper documentation. But it’s also true that many such people are aided and abetted by Republicans — and even work at Republican-owned businesses.
And that is the situation in the latest high-profile illegal alien murder case being used by shameless and hypocritical Republicans. In Iowa 20 year-old college student Mollie Tibbetts was murdered, and the suspect in the case is a man who came into the United States four years ago from Mexico, and apparently was in the country illegally.
But not so fast. The suspect’s lawyer says that he is not “illegal” but in fact did obtain legal immigrant status.
On top of that, it turns out that the murder suspect has been employed by a prominent Iowa Republican for four years, so one has to wonder what that GOP business owner did to prevent this from happening. Did he make sure his worker was documented, or did he overlook things in order to get cheap labor (as often happens)?
And on top of THAT it is now being reported that the suspect has been living rent-free on land owned by ANOTHER high-profile Republican who provides fund raising services to GOP candidates around the country — many of whom have taken campaign positions against illegal immigration.
The suspect lived on a farm owned by Nicole Schlinger, who is a key fundraiser for GOP politicians in Iowa and elsewhere. This year she has done work for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Virginia Senate candidate Corey Stewart. Schlinger is the president of a company called Campaign Headquarters that makes fundraising calls, identifies supporters and helps turn out voters for conservative candidates and groups.
Schlinger’s husband is Eric Lang, the president of the family-owned farm corporation that has for the past four years employed Cristhian Bahena Rivera, the man charged with Tibbetts’ murder.
On Friday, Schlinger said she was “shocked and deeply saddened” by Tibbetts’ death and had never met Rivera. “The perpetrator should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, and when he meets his maker, suffer the consequences he deserves,” she said in an email.
Republicans such as President Donald Trump and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds called for stricter immigration laws and enforcement almost immediately after Rivera was charged Tuesday. Some have blamed Democratic policies for the slaying, even though studies have disputed the notion that those in the country illegally are more likely to commit violent crime. But actually Rivera may not even have been in the country illegally anyway. Still, the Republican hypocrisy goes on.
Conservative U.S. Rep. Steve King of Iowa tweeted Friday, “Every victim below would be alive today if we enforced our immigration laws. Leftists sacrificed thousands, including their own, on the altar of Political Correctness.”
Schlinger’s business calls itself “the best conservative call center in America, and the most prolific fundraiser in Iowa GOP history, having brought in more than $50 million for politicians and causes.”
Federal Election Commission records show that Cruz’s re-election campaign has paid CampaignHQ nearly $1.7 million since the beginning of 2017. A Cruz campaign spokeswoman had no immediate comment.
Stewart, who has made deportations of immigrants a major campaign theme, has also employed CampaignHQ, as have the campaigns of Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina.
After Rivera was charged, Iowa Gov. Reynolds denounced “an immigration system that allowed a predator like this to live in our community.” But CampaignHQ was a top vendor for the campaigns of former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who selected Reynolds as his running mate in 2010, and has also done some work directly for Reynolds’ campaigns.
Rivera’s defense lawyer, questioned whether the Langs should have had suspicions and should have known about Rivera’s immigration status.
“They are taking a blind eye to what’s going on,” said defense lawyer Allan Richards. “At some point a reasonable person would have been more diligent in determining whether or not these folks are legal.”
The family of Mollie Tibbetts has also complained about Republicans using the young woman’s tragic death for their own selfish political purposes.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.