Mollie Tibbetts accused of murder, illegal immigrant Cristhian Rivera, allegedly passed E-Verify system



Mollie Tibbetts case: What is E-verify?

What you need to know about e-verify and what it has to do with the Mollie Tibbetts case

The Mexican national accused of murder and on the student Mollie Tibbetts in Iowa last month living in the usa illegally for a number of years, but was reportedly still able to get a government system designed to weed out illegal immigrants from obtaining Us jobs.

Cristhian Rivera, 24, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday after the body of Tibbetts, a 20-year-old University of Iowa student, was found in a cornfield about 12 miles to the southeast of Brooklyn, where she was last seen running. The police said Rivera was in the country illegally and an immigration detainer was placed on him after his arrest.

Rivera’s employer, Yarrabee Farms, confirmed Tuesday that Rivera worked on the farm for four years and said Rivera passed the federal E-Verify control, intended for the maintenance of a database of I-9 forms and tax records of the employees in the whole country.

But experts say Fox News the E-Verify system is not waterproof and can be thwarted.


Dane Lang, one of the owners of Yarrabee Farms, said in a statement that all documents relating to Rivera’s employment are transferred to the authorities. Yarrabee Farms is owned by the family of Craig Lang, the former president of the Iowa Farm Bureau and a former GOP primary candidate in Iowa, the Minister of Agriculture.

“E-care has prevented many of the illegal aliens from getting a job. It is the best system there is,” former-ICE acting director Thomas Homan told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday, though he added there are ways to beat the system in “exceptional circumstances.”

“I would be interested to know is: Did they really perform this person in the E-care? And what failed?” he said.

Immigration officials have not confirmed to Fox News as Rivera’s identity is included in the E-Verify database. The authorities have said he came to the U.S. illegally from Mexico at some point between 4 and 7 years ago.

A study of the Iowa court records revealed no prior criminal history for Rivera, and it is unclear whether he has ever been subject to prior deportation proceedings.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services do not respond immediately to a request for comment.

E-verify is an online system run by the U.S. government employers a way to verify the eligibility of the employees. The automated system checks the records of the Social service and the Department of Homeland Security to prevent an employee is legally allowed to work in the USA

Registered the employer just needs an employee’s name, date of birth and social security number.

Apart from a number of federal contractors, E-verify is entirely voluntary for most employers.


Identity fraud is the most common way of illegal immigrants and unscrupulous employers try to avoid the system, said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies.

“The illegal worker can be a fraudulent identity that will pass E-verify,” she told Fox News Wednesday. “And an employer or hiring manager who knows that the identity can be sketchy, and could see the other side.”

Although the details about the Rivera can be gamed the system is still not clear, Vaughan said that many of the cases prosecuted in the past have seen, is an illegal immigrant just buy fraudulent identities.

“There are cases of the detainees of the sale of their identity because they are locked and don’t need them,” she said.

In one Massachusetts case, the hiring of a manager actually had an agreement with one of the identity of the seller on the other side of the street that would help an illegal immigrant is an identity that would pass muster, Vaughan said.

“They would send to the other side of the street and tell them to come back later,” she said.


Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Ia., who has called for making E-verify a requirement for all employers, demanded the Department of Homeland Security to release more information on Rivera, saying: “there is little information known about the man from the immigration and criminal history, or employment information.”

“It is of crucial importance that we understand what the conditions in the traffic death of this young Iowan, so that we can address any vulnerabilities in our border security equipment, the existing laws, enforcement practices, and the allocation of resources,” he wrote in a letter obtained exclusively by Fox News on Wednesday, that was addressed to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “We must prevent murders such as Tibbetts’ from ever occurring again.”

Rivera’s coming to the US. if a teenager has also been questions about if he can be of a so-called “Dreamer” that may be eligible for the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Vaughan, however, said that it is unlikely is because in order to qualify for DACA, an illegal immigrant child must have lived in the united states for at least five years for 2012. If Rivera came in 2011 – the earliest officials believed that he was able to cross the border of Mexico – he would not fit the criteria.

USCIS officials have not confirmed any DACA status for Rivera.

“There are a lot of layers to peel off,” Vaughan said.

Fox News’ Travis Fedschun, Cristina Corbin and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lucia I. Suarez Sang a Reporter for Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang

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