Biden says he regrets branding Laken Riley’s accused murderer as ‘an illegal’

Liberals criticized Biden's use of the term when describing the 22-year-old nursing student's alleged murderer.

President Joe Biden on Saturday expressed regret for referring to Laken Riley’s alleged murderer as “an illegal.” (MSNBC)

(Daily Caller News Foundation) — President Joe Biden on Saturday expressed regret for referring to Laken Riley’s alleged murderer as “an illegal.”

Liberals criticized Biden’s use of the term when describing the 22-year-old nursing student’s alleged murderer Jose Antonio Ibarra during his State of the Union address Thursday after Republicans demanded the president say Riley’s name during his speech. Biden told MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart that he should have used the term “undocumented” instead.

“An undocumented person. And I shouldn’t have used illegal, it’s undocumented,” Biden said on “MSNBC Reports.”

“And look, when I spoke about the difference between Trump and me, one of the things I talked about in the border was is the way he talks about vermin, the way he talks about these people polluting the blood. I talked about what I’m not going to do. What I won’t do,” he added.

Biden had yet to directly address the tragedy publicly by Thursday since Riley was killed on Feb. 22.

“I’m not going to treat any, any, any of these people with disrespect. Look, they built the country. The reason our economy is growing. We have to control the border and more orderly flow, but I don’t share his view at all,” Biden said.

Capehart asked Biden point blank if he regrets using the term during his address and the president responded, “yes.”

Biden said Riley was “an innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal,” and proceeded to butcher her first name, calling her “Lincoln” rather than “Laken,” during his Thursday address.

Ibarra is an illegal immigrant from Venezuela who was released into the country after crossing the southern border into El Paso, Texas, under the Biden administration. He had an extensive criminal record and was arrested shortly following the discovery of Riley’s body on the University of Georgia campus after a mid-afternoon run.

Democratic Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar, who is a Biden campaign co-chair, recently suggested that deporting illegal immigrants would have adverse economic consequences.

“It is impossible to deport every undocumented person in this country,” she told CNN anchor Jim Acosta. “There simply are not the resources nor is it advantageous to us. I mean, I’m sure you’ve seen the reports, Jim, that it has been immigrant labor, the immigrant workforce that has actually propped up our economy. The challenge we face is that Congress has not created legal pathways for them.”


Jason Cohen