Federal immigration officials confirmed to Breitbart News on Wednesday that they have “no records” of 24-year-old Cristhian Bahena-Rivera, the man accused of murdering 20-year-old college student Mollie Tibbetts.
This week, law enforcement announced that Tibbetts’ body was found in a cornfield in her rural hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa, after she was last seen jogging on July 18.
Bahena-Rivera, from Mexico, has been charged with first-degree murder in her death after police say he admitted to confronting and chasing down Tibbetts. The illegal alien lived in a region of Iowa that was surrounded by sanctuary cities, as Breitbart News noted.
Bahena-Rivera’s attorney is now seeking a gag order to prevent the government from referring to the accused killer as an “illegal alien” or “illegal immigrant,” claiming he has legal status to be in the U.S.
In a statement to Breitbart News, though, officials with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency said a search of federal records reveals that Bahena-Rivera does not have a lawful immigration status in the country, indicating that he is, in fact, an illegal alien.
“A search of records by USCIS revealed Rivera did not make any DACA requests nor were any grants given,” USCIS spokesman Michael Bars said in a statement. “We have found no record in our systems indicating he has any lawful immigration status.”
Bahena-Rivera worked at Yarrabee Farms, a dairy farm in Iowa, after he used a stolen or fake ID and fraudulent Social Security card to land a job. The farm owners originally claimed they used E-Verify to check the legality of Bahena-Rivera’s immigration status, but later admitted that they did not use the system.
The illegal alien, charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts’ killing, has been living in the U.S. for four to seven years.
“On Aug. 21, ICE lodged a detainer with the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office on Cristhian Bahena-Rivera, 24, an illegal alien from Mexico, after he was arrested on murder charges,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said in a statement to Breitbart News.
Police say Bahena-Rivera left Tibbetts’ body in a cornfield, placing corn stalks over her to hide her death. Foreign nationals, specifically illegal aliens, are often incentivized by employers to migrate to the Midwest to take low-wage farming and meatpacking jobs.