Warren: ‘We need immigration laws that focus on people who pose a real threat’
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) took aim at President Trump’s immigration policies on Wednesday, saying that his administration should focus on “people who pose a real threat.”
Warren’s comments came in response to a question from CNN host John Berman who asked for her reaction about the death of 20-year-old Iowa college student Mollie Tibbets. The man charged with murdering Tibbets has been suspected of being in the U.S. illegally by Trump and his administration, though his attorney filed a court document on Wednesday saying that he was working in the U.S. legally.
In the court document, attorney Allen Richards accused the government of wrongly promoting the idea that Cristhian Bahena Rivera was in the U.S. illegally.
“I’m so sorry for the family here, and I know this is hard, not only for the family, but for the people in [Tibbets’s] community, the people throughout Iowa,” Warren said. “But one of the things we have to remember is that we need an immigration system that is effective, that focuses on where problems are,” she said.
Warren went on to condemn the Trump administration’s previous “zero tolerance” policy that led to the separations of thousands of immigrant children from their parents upon being apprehended for crossing the U.S.–Mexico border illegally.
“Last month I went down to the border and I saw where children had been taken away from their mothers. I met with those mothers who had been lied to, who didn’t know where their children were, who hadn’t had a chance to talk with their children, and there was no plan for how they would be reunified with their children,” she said.
“I think we need immigration laws that focus on people who pose a real threat,” she continued. “And I don’t think mommas and babies are the place that we should be spending our resources. Separating a momma from a baby does not make this country safer.”
Warren’s comments come as many GOP lawmakers, including Iowa’s two Republican senators, have suggested that the country’s immigration laws played a role in Tibbets’ murder.
Trump brought up Tibbets’ death at a campaign rally in West Virginia on Tuesday, blaming an “illegal alien coming in, very sadly, from Mexico” for Tibbets’ death, which he said “should have never happened.”
Rivera’s lawyer called Trump “sad and sorry” for weighing in on the case, saying that the comments would “poison the entire possible pool of jury members.”
Trump tweeted a video Wednesday evening of him lamenting Tibbets’ death and that she is now “permanently separated” from her family.
“A person came in from Mexico illegally and killed her. We need the wall, we need our immigration laws changed, we need our border laws changed. … This is one instance of many. We have tremendous crime trying to come through the borders,” he said in the video.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2018