Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts’ murder is being used by an Idaho man to push anti-immigrant rhetoric via robocalls, according to Iowa officials and media.
According to WeAreIowa.com, the recording calls suspect Cristhian Bahena Rivera “an invader from Mexico.” Rivera was living in Iowa after migrating to the U.S. illegally.
The call goes on to call immigrants “savages” and asserts that, were she still alive, Tibbetts would advocate for violence against immigrants. The Des Moines Register reports:
“If after her life has now been brutally stolen from her, she could be brought back to life for just one moment and asked, ‘What do you think now?,’ Mollie Tibbetts would say, ‘Kill them all,’” the message said.
Tibbetts’ family has been outspoken in support of the Hispanic community, and the Des Moines Register reports that “her relatives have said she would think and want the opposite (of what the robocalls suggest).”
The calls, linked to a group called The Road to Power, go on to advocate for mass deportation. Scott Rhodes, of Sandpoint, is affiliated with The Road to Power’s white nationalist podcast. Rhodes has also earned attention in Idaho for robocalls attacking minorities, according to the Spokesman-Review. The Iowa calls have a local area code.
A spokesman for the Iowa Attorney General’s Office told the Register the robocalls may not be illegal, calling them “repulsive.” He urged Iowans to add their phone numbers to “do not call” lists or download apps that block spam calls.