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Democrats angered at Biden after he calls Laken Riley's alleged killer an 'illegal': 'Extremely disappointed'

Democratic lawmakers and leaders rebuked President Biden for not calling the alleged killer of Laken Riley in Georgia an “undocumented" immigrant.

Democratic lawmakers and leaders rebuked President Biden for not calling the Venezuelan illegal immigrant who allegedly murdered Laken Riley in Georgia an "undocumented" immigrant.

Biden referred to the suspected murderer as an "illegal" at his State of the Union address. When asked about Biden's reference to Riley, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi corrected Biden's language choice. 

"Now he should have said undocumented, but that’s not a big thing, ok? What’s the big thing?" she said during an interview on CNN Thursday night, immediately following the address. 


"I actually wasn’t even gonna ask about that," CNN anchor Dana Bash told Pelosi. "I was just gonna ask more about the moment. But you do think that he should have said undocumented? That wasn’t going to be my question."

"Well, we usually say ‘undocumented.’ He said ‘illegal.’ I don’t think it’s a big deal," Pelosi continued. "I don’t think it’s a big deal because I think his focus was on the sympathy for the family. It’s a terrible tragedy."

Other Democrats vented on social media about Biden using the term, which some liberals view as dehumanizing.

"As a proud immigrant," Illinois Democratic Rep. Chuy García wrote Thursday, "I'm extremely disappointed to hear President Biden use the word ‘illegal.’" 

"Let me be clear: No human being is illegal," Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., wrote. 

"Disappointed that [Biden] would use such dehumanizing right wing rhetoric to speak about immigrants tonight," Illinois Rep. Delia Ramirez wrote Thursday. "No human being is illegal."

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, claimed that Biden's rhetoric was "dangerously close to language from Donald Trump that puts a target on the backs of Latinos everywhere."


Biden was also ridiculed Thursday following the State of the Union after he appeared to slip up while speaking the name of the slain Georgia student.

As Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. — wearing a red MAGA hat — shouted "say her name" toward the president, Biden responded by lamenting the young woman's death but appeared to refer to her as "Lincoln Riley" — who is the coach of the University of Southern California Trojans football team. 

"It's not about him. It's not about me. I'd be a winner… " Biden said, referring to former President Trump's alleged intervention in a failed bipartisan border bill before trailing off as Greene appeared to shout "say Laken Riley — say her name."

As boos were heard from the floor, Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas, gestured to Greene as Biden reached below his dais and presented a button bearing Riley's name:

"Lincoln — Lincoln Riley," Biden appeared to say. "An innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal. That's right, but how many of the thousands of people being killed by legals — to her parents?"

Fox News' Charles Creitz contributed to this report. 

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