The first day’s news about Mollie Tibbetts was bad enough.
After looking for the pretty Iowa girl since mid-July, police finally found her dead in a cornfield on August 22. And an illegal alien very likely is the one who killed her.
But now we learn that the suspect easily skated around the policies and procedures employers use to verify a putative employee’s legal right to work.
AP Divulges Hole in System
According to The Associated Press, the system that employers and government use to verify the status of employers, particularly those from abroad, is worthless:
The systems offered by the U.S. government to check the legal status of workers like the Mexican man now suspected of killing an Iowa college student can be easily exploited through identity fraud and gaps in government systems, experts say.
In the case of Cristhian Bahena Rivera, the 24-year-old now charged with murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts, Rivera’s ex-employer said Wednesday he provided an out-of-state ID card and Social Security number. He worked at Yarrabee Farms for almost four years under a false name, said Dane Lang, part of the family that owns the dairy.
The AP did not report what type of “out-of-state” ID card Rivera used, but one thing is clear: An employer really can’t know whether any given person he wants to hire is eligible to work, particularly if that person fits the profile of an illegal alien.
According to the AP, “Yarrabee Farms did not use the federal E-Verify program, Lang said Wednesday, correcting information he had given a day earlier.” Rather, the company used the verification service offered by the Social Security Administration. That system and E-Verify, “experts say, can be beaten” with a false state ID and phony Social Security number. Continued AP:
There is a thriving black market for forged or stolen identity documents. And while employers are supposed to check those documents, they are barred by federal law from refusing to accept an ID card that meets legal requirements for employment. They are required to reject documents that do not “reasonably appear to be genuine,” but those can be hard to catch.
E-Verify provides employers with photos for passports and other federal documents that they can compare with what an employee has given them, but not state-issued driver’s licenses or IDs. An employer in Iowa presented with an unfamiliar out-of-state driver’s license may not be able to spot a fake.
“There is rampant fraud,” said Bill Riley, a former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent who is now a senior managing director at the consulting firm Guidepost Solutions. “Even experts like myself, we can say with fairly reasonable certainty — but not 100 percent — whether a document is fake or not.”
Although the federal government says Rivera is an illegal alien, his attorney claims he “has the legal documents” to work here.
How the Police Found Mollie Tibbetts
Police found the young woman's body with Rivera’s help.
As The New American reported yesterday, citing the Washington Post and other news outlets, a security camera caught Rivera’s Chevy Malibu going “in and out of the frame of a surveillance camera aimed at the street.”
He followed Tibbetts for a while, then “got out and ran beside her.”
“I’m gonna call police,” she told the Mexican murder suspect, pulling out her phone.
Unsurprisingly, Rivera might be laying the groundwork for an insanity or diminished-capacity defense. He told police that “what happened next ... is blocked from his memory, something he said happens when he gets upset or angry.”
Was he angry that Tibbetts told him to get lost and threatened to call the police?
Whatever the answer, the next thing Rivera remembered “was being in his car and finding a headphone earpiece in his lap that did not belong to him,” the Post reported. So he opened the trunk and found Tibbetts “bleeding from the head and motionless.... Rivera ... dragged, then carried Tibbetts’s body 60 feet into an isolated cornfield. Then he dropped her on the ground, face up, covered her with corn stalks and walked away.”
Rivera led police to Tibbetts’ body after police interrogated him. He faces a first-degree murder charge. Bail is set at $1 million.