WASHINGTON (CBN News) – Some fellow conservatives are reacting to President Donald Trump’s use of the murder of a 20-year-old college student to highlight the country’s broken immigration system.
Alfonso Aguilar, president of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, mostly agrees with President Trump on policy, but he takes issue with the president’s recent characterization of undocumented immigrants.
“I think the president – what he’s doing that I think is wrong, is to generalize and give the impression that the majority of undocumented immigrants that are coming across the southern border – the majority are criminals and commit serious crimes,” Aguilar explained. “That’s just not the truth.”
Trump, who repeatedly pledged to “build a wall” during his 2016 campaign, seized on the fact that the man charged with killing Mollie Tibbetts was living illegally in the US.
During a campaign rally in West Virginia Tuesday night, Trump called the nation’s immigration laws a “disgrace,” referring to suspect, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, as an “illegal alien” and Tibbetts as “that incredible, beautiful young woman.”
Aguilar’s position mirrors some of Tibbetts’ family and friends who are urging others not to use her death as “political propaganda.“
“The Mollie Tibbetts murder is a tragedy,” he said. “We have her family in our prayers, but we shouldn’t use that to create this false perception because it helps to divide the country, to make the issue more toxic, and to polarize the issue.”
Aguilar, who led the US Office of Citizenship in the George W. Bush administration, described undocumented workers as “good, hard-working people,” but acknowledged that the tactic could prove to bring the president’s supporters to the polls in the November midterm elections.
“Two years ago, immigration was a top issue for voters. So I think it could help Republicans,” he said. “However, having said that, it is sad that the issue is used politically with a false narrative because the vast majority [of undocumented workers] are not involved in crime.”