Democrats fume over the word Biden used to describe Laken Riley murder suspect — but notice what they’re not mad about

Democrats are fuming that President Joe Biden referred to Laken Riley’s suspected murderer as “an illegal.”

In his State of the Union speech Thursday night, Biden acknowledged Riley after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) called him out. Biden, however, butchered Riley’s name, instead calling her “Lincoln Riley” — the name of the head football coach at the University of Southern California.

“Lincoln Riley — an innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal, that’s right,” Biden said.

The president’s use of the word “illegal” to refer to Jose Ibarra — the Venezuelan immigrant living in the U.S. illegally who is charged with Riley’s murder — sent the Democratic Party’s word police into a frenzy.

  • “As a proud immigrant, I’m extremely disappointed to hear President Biden use the word ‘illegal,'” Rep. Chuy García (D-Ill.) said.
  • “Let me be clear: No human being is illegal,” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) virtue signaled.
  • “The rhetoric President Biden used tonight was dangerously close to language from Donald Trump that puts a target on the backs of Latinos everywhere,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) complained.
  • “Disappointed that @POTUS would use such dehumanizing right wing rhetoric to speak about immigrants tonight. No human being is illegal,” Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Ill.) reacted.
  • “He should have said ‘undocumented,'” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) policed.

Notice, however, what these Democrats are not upset about: Biden butchering Riley’s name. That’s the real sin in this story, and it begs the question: Does Biden know Riley’s actual name?

It’s important to highlight the fact that “illegal” is the adjective that U.S. law most frequently uses to refer to immigrants who cross into the U.S. illegally and are living here without legal authorization.

Moreover, the adjective “illegal” establishes an important distinction separating immigrants who come to the U.S. illegally versus those who go through the extensive legal process.

Charles Cooke, an immigrant and senior editor at National Review, explained:

I’m also a proud immigrant. There’s nothing wrong with using “illegal” to describe those who moved here in violation of our law — as distinct from those who did not. This is akin to the law-abiding complaining that the word “criminal” exists.

The aim of those who want to prevent the use of the term “illegal immigrant” is to make it harder for people to discuss reality in a way that displeases them. They oppose the law in question, and they think they can make it disappear if they change the words we use to debate it.

If Democrats are truly outraged about the adjective “illegal,” they should exercise their legislative authority to change the existing statutory descriptions of illegal immigrants.

Until then, their virtue signaling rings hollow.

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