Killing of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts used to stoke anti-immigrant fears, even as studies show lower crime rates

Donald Trump’s White House has seized on the killing of a college student in the hopes of bolstering a sharply anti-immigrant agenda, even as studies show immigrants in the US are less likely to commit crimes than the native-born population.

Within a day of law enforcement being led to what they believe is the body of Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old student in Iowa who was missing for more than a month, Trump amplified as fact that the crime was perpetrated by an alleged undocumented immigrant. The White House continued to press on the matter on Wednesday, even as questions loomed over the immigration status of the suspect, the farm worker Cristhian Bahena Rivera.

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