The Murder of Mollie Tibbets and the Need to Provide Support to Immigrants

In July 2018, I learned about the missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts who was last seen jogging nearby the home of her boyfriend's brother.

University of Iowa landscape

From the beginning of the story, her boyfriend was making cries for support to find his missing girlfriend along with her parents. In many cases, it is actually the boyfriend that is involved in the disappearance and eventual murder but analyzing his response and behavior I had felt at the time he was not involved and he in fact was not involved.

Over a month later, in late August, it was revealed that an illegal Mexican immigrant by the name of Christian Rivera was arrested and charged with her murder. Given the current state of politics and the present US Administration's position on immigration, especially from Mexico, I was certain President Trump would use this story to support his position on immigration and illegal immigration into the United States - and he did. I was greatly disappointed to find out the background of the murderer and the fact he had already lived between four to seven years in Iowa.

President Donald Trump

His story raises the challenge for immigrants and illegal immigrants to integrate into western society and their ability to achieve a successful life through education and meaningful work. Rivera's action are inexcusable but as we can see with many events on both sides of the Canada and US border, more initiatives and infrastructure should be put into place eliminating social exclusion and isolation to provide meaning into these individuals lives and, hopefully, reduce violence and crime.

I believe mental health is a human rightI believe mental health is a human right. Denying at risk individuals the correct support is inhuman and unconscionable.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services Center

Link Between Immigrants Entering the United States and Violent Crimes

Nationality Jailed within 1 year (%) Jailed within 3 years (%) Earn at least one college degree (%)
Mexican 53 64 22
African 38 43 21
European 21 32 41

Background of Events

  1. Mollie is last seen jogging
    • She was wearing black shorts
    • She was wearing a yellow shirt
  2. Christian Rivera is arrested and charged
    • He had lived in Iowa for 4-7 years
    • He was determined to be an illegal Mexican immigrant
  3. President Trump uses the event to support his position on immigration
    • President Trump has been extremely conservative with his position on immigration
    • President Trump wanted to build a wall between Mexico and the USA
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Event Analysis

Individuals Male Female
Directly Involved or Impacted Rob Tibbets (father) Cristhian Bahena Rivera (suspect)
  • Mollie Cecilia Tibbetts (victim)
  • Laura Calderwood (mother)
Key Politicians or Leaders President Donald Trump Mike Pence Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Other Family Jake Tibbetts (brother) Scott Tibbets (brother) Dalton Jack (boyfriend)

Inspiration Center

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough. ~Oprah

Written by Adam Suleman.
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Vancouver, British Columbia