Joe Biden regrets calling Venezuelan accused of killing nursing student an ‘illegal’

Nursing student Laken Riley
Nursing student Laken Riley, allegedly killed by a Venezuelan who entered the US illegally
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Joe Biden has expressed regret for describing the immigrant accused of killing nursing student Laken Riley as an “illegal”.

Using the term enraged several congressional Democrats on the progressive wing of the party as the political row over immigration intensified following the suspicious death of the 22-year-old in Georgia.

A Venezuelan who entered the US illegally has been charged with murder and the case was seized upon by Republicans during last week’s State of the Union speech in Washington.

Marjorie Taylor Greene
Republican representative from Georgia Marjorie Taylor Greene shouts at Joe Biden - SHAWN THEW/AFP

Firebrand congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene repeatedly yelled “say her name” during the presidential address.

Goaded, Mr Biden went off-script and described the suspect as illegal.

“By an illegal, that’s right,” Mr Biden agreed.

“But how many of thousands of people are being killed by legals?” he asked.

“I shouldn’t have used ‘illegal’; it’s ‘undocumented’,” the president said on Saturday in an interview on MSNBC.

“And look, when I spoke about the difference between Trump and me, one of the things I talked about in the border was his, the way he talks about ‘vermin’, the way he talks about these people ‘polluting the blood’,” he said.

“I talked about what I’m not going to do. What I won’t do. I’m not going to treat any, any, any of these people with disrespect.”

Joe Biden
Joe Biden with a badge that reads 'Regulate Guns not Women' during a campaign event in Atlanta - Megan Varner/Getty

Immigration remains one of the main Republican points of attack and Donald Trump ramped up the rhetoric at a rally in North Carolina on Saturday.

“Biden’s conduct on our border is by any definition a conspiracy to overthrow the United States of America,”  he said.

“Biden and his accomplices want to collapse the American system, nullify the will of the actual American voters and establish a new base of power that gives them control for generations.”

Mr Biden, 81, has faced incessant barbs about his age and recently launched a $30 million (£23 million) advertising campaign to tackle the issue.

“Look, I’m not a young guy. That’s no secret,” the president says at the ad’s outset.

“But, here’s the deal. I understand how to get things done for the American people.”

The latest polls show that Mr Trump’s average poll lead is 1.8 per cent with one survey, taken after the State of the Union speech, putting Mr Biden two points ahead.

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