The father of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, who was allegedly killed by an undocumented immigrant, is calling on those who’ve used his daughter’s murder to advance what he says is a hateful and racist agenda to stop.
In an op-ed in the Des Moines Register, Rob Tibbetts says he "encourages debate on immigration" but "do not appropriate Mollie’s soul in advancing views she believed were profoundly racist."
Since Mollie’s death, many politicians used the fact that the suspect in her killing is an undocumented immigrant as an argument for immigration reform.
Some are still doing so, and he says these politicians have "chosen to callously distort and corrupt Mollie's tragic death to advance a cause she vehemently opposed."
The op-ed also comes after robo calls surfaced. According to KCCI-TV in Des Moines, the robo calls were put together by a white supremacist group known as “The Road to Power.” The recording calls for the death of all Latinos in the United States.
"Re-found America as whites only and get rid of them now. Every last one," the recording states in part.
Rob Tibbetts addressed the community that's been targeted by racist robo calls and graffiti on a Des Moines street saying, “The person who is accused of taking Mollie's life is no more a reflection of the Hispanic community as white supremacists are of all white people. To suggest otherwise is a lie."
Joe Henry, a leader in the local Latino community, says this a time when bystanders can no longer stay silent.
"These hateful messages are just going to continue when good people don't speak up,” says Henry. “This is a very important time."