Mollie Tibbetts' father: leave our daughter out of your immigration debate

A week after the body of Mollie Tibbets was found in Iowa, and a man authorities say was an undocumented immigrant was charged, some politicians immediately used Mollie's killing as a rallying cry for tougher immigration laws. But her father Rob Tibbetts wants people to know his family does not want to be featured in that cause, he wrote in a column he shared exclusively with the Des Moines Register on Friday.  While national news outlets continue to call him and send fruit baskets and describe Mollie as an "inspiration to the world," Tibbetts and his family just want to be left alone.

“We want Mollie to die with dignity,” he said.

 Rob Tibbetts said he felt devastated as he listened to a message from what appeared to be a local number--a pre-recorded message sent from a computerized autodialer, or robocall. In it, a white nationalist called Mollie's family traitors to their race. Rob Tibbetts thinks he was among the first to receive the message, which claimed if Mollie could be brought back to life, she would say of immigrants, "Kill them all."

"It was unbelievably painful," Rob Tibbetts said, recalling how his wife, Kacey Auston-Tibbetts, became physically ill when she heard it. "It was everything that’s dark and wrong in America right now."

After he read a guest column in the Register from Donald Trump Jr., the eldest child of President Donald Trump, Rob Tibbetts said he had to respond. 

Trump Jr.'s column criticized Democrats' response to Mollie Tibbetts' killing and said the party seemed more concerned with "protecting their radical open-borders agenda than the lives of innocent Americans." 

In a response published in the Register, Rob Tibbetts said his family was grateful to the politicians who heard his appeal and stopped using his daughter's death to promote agendas. But others did not, instead choosing to "callously distort and corrupt Mollie's tragic death," he said. 

Quoting Trump Jr.'s column, Tibbetts said it's "heartless" and "despicable." 

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