Killings inflame immigration debate

Two killings, allegedly done by men who are in the country illegally, has stirred and inflamed the immigration debate.

The death of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbets, who was attacked by Cristhian Bahena Rivera as she ran along a country road, and the death of Enedelia Perez-Garcia, killed by her ex-boyfriend Fraider Diaz-Campbell in Minneapolis, are tragic. Both of the accused are illegal immigrants, fueling President Donald Trump’s assertion that lax immigration laws are letting murderers and criminals into the country. Republican First District congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn has renewed his call to reform immigration laws and strengthen border security.

As tragic as these deaths are, perhaps Americans should look first at enforcement of existing rules.

Rivera has been in this country illegally for at least seven years. He has lived in the Montezuma area for much of that time — and was an employee “in good standing” at a nearby farm.

Which brings up the obvious question: How was Rivera able to become the employee of a business without being detected?

Diaz-Carbahal had been deported to Mexico in 2012 after entering the country illegally and running up a criminal record of DUI convictions and domestic assault. He managed to re-enter the country and live here unchallenged until he stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death.

Will building a wall or shutting down the borders stop these crimes? No matter what precautions we take, at least some illegal immigrants will always find ways to come into our country. While most of these people are peaceable folks looking to build a new life, some are obviously going to be bad actors. If they find themselves home-free after getting across the border, the problem will persist.

Immigration laws exist that prohibit people from entering and staying in the country illegally. Employers are not supposed to hire illegal immigrants. Enforcing the nation’s immigration laws would go a long way to preventing the kind of crimes that are shattering the lives of families today.