Trump calls on Republican leaders to fund US-Mexico border wall following the death of 20-year-old college student Mollie Tibbetts

Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump
  • President Donald Trump renewed calls to Republican leaders to fund the US-Mexico border wall, following the arrest of a suspect in the death of 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts.
  • “A person came in from Mexico, illegally, and killed her,” Trump claimed in a White House video posted to this Twitter account on Wednesday. “We need the wall, we need our immigration laws changed, we need our border laws changed.”
  • Trump called the US’s immigration laws “strictly pathetic.”

President Donald Trump renewed calls to fund a US-Mexico border wall on Wednesday following the arrest of a suspect in the death of 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts.

“A person came in from Mexico, illegally, and killed her,” Trump claimed in a White House video on Wednesday. “We need the wall, we need our immigration laws changed, we need our border laws changed.”

“We need Republicans to do it because the Democrats aren’t going to do it,” Trump said. “This is one instance of many. We have tremendous crime trying to come through the borders.”

On Tuesday, shortly after Tibbetts’ body was found in a corn field, law enforcement officials arrested 24-year-old Cristihian Bahena Rivera.

The suspect is a Mexican national who lived illegally in Iowa for up to seven years, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. The case is ongoing, and Rivera’s lawyer reportedly disputed claims that his client is in the US illegally.

“Sad and Sorry Trump has weighed in on this matter in national media which will poison the entire possible pool of jury members,” attorney Allen Richards said, following Trump’s comments on the pending case.

Rivera allegedly confessed to following and approaching Tibbetts when she went out for a jog, according to law-enforcement officials. He claimed to have blacked out and discovered her body in his car’s trunk.

Trump described Tibbetts as “an incredible young woman” and offered his condolences to her family.

“To the family of Mollie Tibbetts, all I can say is ‘god bless you,'” Trump said.

Trump’s call for the border wall has been met with bipartisan resistance. Early in his campaign, Trump claimed the wall’s estimated price tag of $US12 billion would be funded by Mexico; however, Mexico scoffed at the notion and some estimates indicate the wall would cost around $US67 billion for the entire 2,000 mile border.

The border wall issue has created an impasse between Democrats and the White House. Senate Democrats previously signalled they would consider funding for the wall in exchange for protecting undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children. But Trump has since demanded $US25 billion up front for his wall, which Democrats are unlikely to agree on unless the White House relents to broad immigration reforms.

Watch Trump’s remarks here ยป

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