University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, 20. Photo: Screenshot via CBS News YouTube

The arrest of a murder suspect this week, who police had said is an undocumented immigrant responsible for the killing of 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, has reignited the debate about America's immigration policies.

What’s happening: On Wednesday, the legal status of 24-year-old suspect Cristhian Bahena Rivera came into question. Rivera’s attorney, Allan Richards, said in court filings that his client has been living in the country legally — contradicting what immigration authorities told the Associated Press.

The details: A spokesperson for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told the AP that the agency found no records on Rivera’s legal status. Immigration authorities also reportedly said they have no record of granting Rivera legal entry into the U.S.

  • Rivera, who appeared in court on Wednesday, is facing a first-degree murder charge and life without parole.
  • His employer told the AP that he learned Rivera, who had been working on a dairy farm since 2014, has been using a false name after seeing reports of the arrest. Rivera had reportedly presented an out-of-state government ID and a matching Social Security card.
  • Rivera's attorney has confirmed that Rivera received his paycheck under a different name and that his immigration status is now uncertain, per the AP.

The big picture: At a campaign rally Tuesday night in Charleston, West Virginia President Trump sought to link the case to the country's immigration laws.

  • "You heard about today, with the illegal alien coming in from, very sadly, from Mexico. ... The laws are so bad. The immigration laws are a such a disgrace," he said.

The other side: Reuters reports that Iowa congressional Republicans and other candidates competing in competitive districts have avoided politicizing the case amid fears of voter backlash.

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Three people have died in a wildfire in Northern California and tens of thousands were evacuated across the state, as firefighters contended with strong winds and dry conditions that saw blazes explode across the state on Monday.

Driving the news: Shasta County Sheriff Eric Magrini confirmed the deaths occurred as the Zogg Fire spread across 15,000 acres, forcing the evacuation of 1,200 people. More than for 5o,000 people, per AP.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 33,273,720 — Total deaths: 1,000,555 — Total recoveries: 23,056,480Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 7,147,241 — Total deaths: 205,031 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Business: Companies are still holding back earnings guidance.
  4. Health: Trump announces plan to distribute 150 million rapid tests —The childless vaccine.
  5. Media: Fauci: Some of what Fox News reports about COVID-19 is "outlandish"
  6. States: Cuomo extends New York moratorium on evictions until 2021.
  7. World: More than 1 million people have now died from coronavirus — India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases.
Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Global coronavirus death toll crosses 1 million

Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The global toll of confirmed deaths from COVID-19 crossed 1 million on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

By the numbers: More than half of those deaths have come in four countries: the U.S. (204,762), Brazil (141,741), India (95,542) and Mexico (76,430). The true global death toll is likely far higher.