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Biden says he regrets calling migrant ‘an illegal’ in State of the Union

President Biden said Saturday he should not have used the word “illegal” during his State of the Union address when talking about a migrant accused of killing of a University of Georgia student.

“An undocumented person. I shouldn’t have used illegal, it’s undocumented,” Biden told MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart. “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. 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. 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 continued.

“So, you regret using that word?” Capehart asked.

“Yes,” Biden responded.

The president used the term “illegal” after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a fierce ally of former President Trump, heckled him during the speech and called for him to recognize Laken Riley, the Georgia student killed late last month. Authorities have charged a Venezuelan migrant who entered the U.S. illegally in 2022 but was released in the killing.

“An innocent young woman who was killed,” Biden said in the speech. “By an illegal. That’s right. But how many of thousands of people are being killed by legals?”

Biden’s use of the term drew criticism from some progressives, including Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Ill.), who posed on social media that “no human being is illegal.”

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