- My son was murdered by an illegal immigrant. Neither he nor Mollie Tibbetts deserved to die
- I don't need to imagine Mollie Tibbetts' parents' pain — I live with it every day. Until Congress enforces immigration law, so will other parents
- Criminals must pay a price
- Immigration Options for Victims of Crimes
- VAWA Self-Petitioners
- Victims must establish that they:
- U Nonimmigrant Status
- Victims are not required to be in legal immigration status, but they must:
- Victims of the following crimes may be eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa:
- T Nonimmigrant Status
My son was murdered by an illegal immigrant. Neither he nor Mollie Tibbetts deserved to die
Police are charging a Mexican immigrant with first-degree murder in the death of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts. She went missing on July 18 while jogging in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa. USA TODAY
I don't need to imagine Mollie Tibbetts' parents' pain — I live with it every day. Until Congress enforces immigration law, so will other parents
When what we all feared was finally confirmed, that Mollie Tibbetts, a promising 20-year-old college student, had indeed been killed, we all imagined the pain that Rob Tibbetts and Laura Calderwood, Mollie’s parents, must have felt.
I didn’t have to imagine their pain. I experienced it myself 16 years ago when my son, Ronald Da Silva, was murdered, and I have been living with it every day since. Another thing I share with Rob and Laura is the gut-wrenching knowledge that our grief was entirely avoidable.
Ronald, Mollie was apparently murdered by an illegal immigrant. We don’t know all the details about Cristhian Bahena Rivera, Mollie’s alleged killer, but we know he was here because our government neglected its responsibility to keep him out.
my son’s murderer, there were probably numerous opportunities at which Rivera’s illegal presence could have been determined and acted upon. Instead of officials catching him using a false ID card and Social Security number, government at all levels apparently failed to see the obvious until it was too late for Mollie and her family.
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The apologists for illegal immigrants will no doubt tell us that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are not violent criminals, and they are right. But that’s not the point.
They are all violating laws that exist to protect the best interests of the American people, which is reason enough to enforce our immigration laws.
The fact that my son, Mollie, Kate Steinle, Sarah Root and many more whose names never made the headlines are dead is all the more reason why our immigration laws must be enforced.
Much the parents of children who have been gunned down in a string of recent school shootings, those of us who have needlessly lost loved ones at the hands of illegal immigrants utterly reject the “thoughts and prayers” of the political class that continues to turn a blind eye to mass illegal immigration. We demand action. We know that there is no such thing as absolute security, but we also know that there are reasonable steps that can and must be taken to minimize the possibility that others will be victimized.
In 2006, Congress overwhelmingly authorized construction of a security fence along our southern border. Among those who voted for the wall were then-Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and current Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Ten years later, Donald Trump ran and was elected on a pledge to fulfill that promise to the American people. Congress owes it to Ronald, Mollie and other victims to fully fund this vital security barrier now with no strings attached. We should not have to reward any group of illegal immigrants with amnesty in order to get our government to prevent more illegal immigrants from entering.
This undated photo provided by the Iowa Department of Public Safety shows Cristhian Bahena Rivera. Authorities said on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, that they have charged a man living in the U.S.
illegally with murder in the death of Iowa college student, Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared a month ago while jogging in a rural area.
Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Rick Rahn said that Rivera, 24, was charged with murder in the death of Tibbetts. (Photo: AP)
While Congress refuses to provide the American people with a border security wall, hundreds of sanctuary jurisdictions around the country provide illegal immigrants with a virtual wall that effectively shields them from being identified and removed from the country.
These jurisdictions, which include my home state of California, actively impede the identification and removal of illegal immigrants – including criminal illegal immigrants. In New York, Gov.
Andrew Cuomo has made 34 immigration-related pardons since 2011, often for the expressed purpose of preventing them from being deported.
We must also hold illegal immigrants accountable for their actions, even those who do not commit violent crimes in our country. The advocates for illegal immigrants ask us to understand why people come to this country illegally. We understand.
But there is an important difference between understanding and condoning, which is what the economic and political elite whose communities, jobs, schools, and lives are largely unaffected by mass illegal immigration demand of the rest of us.
Criminals must pay a price
What the American people — particularly those of us who have paid the ultimate price for our nation’s unenforced immigration laws — demand is accountability from people who break our laws and from our elected officials.
Whenever people violate laws and are punished, there are inevitably consequences for their family members. These consequences often result in them being separated from their families. But, in all other circumstances, we hold the lawbreakers responsible for the effects of their actions on their families. The same must be true for people violate immigration laws.
Mollie didn’t violate any laws and neither did my son Ronald. And yet, because of a lack of accountability on the part of illegal immigrants and elected officials who are sworn to uphold our laws, Mollie and Ronald are permanently separated from their families (and us from them) by six feet of dirt. This must stop now.
Protecting the interests and security of the American people must be the first priority for federal, state, and local officials, not a bargaining chip for amnesty for illegal immigrants. It won’t bring Ronald back to me, or Mollie back to her parents, but it will ensure that other families are spared our grief.
Agnes Gibboney is a legal immigrant from Hungary whose only son, Ronald da Silva, was murdered by an illegal immigrant in 2002. Agnes is a member of Angel Families.
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2018/08/23/illegal-immigrant-molly-tibbitts-murder-crime-column/1074055002/
Immigration Options for Victims of Crimes
Many immigrants are fearful of admitting that they have been a victim of a crime in part because they believe they will be removed (deported) from the United States if they report the crime.
law provides several protections for legal and undocumented immigrants who have been victims of a crime.
There are specific protections for victims of domestic violence, victims of certain crimes, and victims of human trafficking.
Some immigrants may be afraid to report acts of domestic violence to the police or to seek other forms of assistance. Such fear causes many immigrants to remain in abusive relationships.
Victims of domestic violence who are the child, parent, or current/former spouse of a United States citizen or a permanent resident (green card holder) and are abused by the citizen or permanent resident may be eligible to apply for a green card themselves without needing the abuser to file for immigration benefits on their behalf. This provision of the law was created under the VAWA.
Victims must establish that they:
- Have or had a qualifying relationship with the abuser spouse, or, are the parent or child of the abuser,
- Reside or resided with the abuser,
- Have good moral character, and
- Have been victims of battery or extreme cruelty.
VAWA provisions apply equally to men and women. Victims of domestic violence, whether a spouse, child, or parent of the abuser, may self-petition by filing Form I-360, Petition for Widow(er)s, Amerasians, and Special Immigrants.
U Nonimmigrant Status
U nonimmigrant status (or U visa) offers immigration protection for victims and is also a tool for law enforcement.
To obtain U status, the victim must obtain a certification from law enforcement, however, law enforcement officials should note that providing a certification does not grant a benefit—only U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has the authority to grant or deny this benefit.
Victims are not required to be in legal immigration status, but they must:
- Be a victim of qualifying criminal activity and have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the crime,
- Possess credible and reliable information about the qualifying criminal activity,
- Be, have been, or are ly to be helpful to the investigation and/or prosecution of that qualifying criminal activity, and
- Be a victim of criminal activity that violated a U.S. law.
Victims of the following crimes may be eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa:
- Abusive Sexual Contact
- Domestic Violence
- False Imprisonment
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Felonious Assault
- Hostage Taken
- Involuntary Servitude
- Obstruction of Justice
- Witness Tampering
- Sexual Assault
- Slave Trade
- Sexual Exploitation
- Unlawful Criminal Restraint
- Other Related Crimes
To apply for U nonimmigrant status, the victim must file Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status. Law enforcement official must certify Form I-918, Supplement B. Qualifying family members may also be eligible to apply for benefits.
T Nonimmigrant Status
Trafficking in persons—also known as “human trafficking”—is a form of modern-day slavery. Traffickers prey on many types of people, often including individuals who are poor, unemployed, underemployed, or who lack the safety and protection of strong social networks.
Victims are often lured under the false pretenses of good jobs and better lives, and then forced to work under brutal and inhumane conditions.
Many believe that human trafficking is a problem that only occurs in other countries—but human trafficking also happens in the United States.
The T nonimmigrant status (or T visa) provides immigration protection to victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons who assist law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases.
For law enforcement officials and representatives of record:
Call USCIS: 802-527-4888
For all others:
Call USCIS: 800-375-5283