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HomeGeneralPresident Joe Biden Faces Criticism for Breaking His Own Rules

President Joe Biden Faces Criticism for Breaking His Own Rules

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President of the United States of America
Source: Joe Biden/YouTube

In politics, it’s important to stick to your word and be consistent. But lately, President Joe Biden has been criticized for not following his rules. Last week, the president of the United States of America made a mistake by using a term that he had told his own government agencies not to use.

During his State of the Union speech, Biden called the Venezuelan migrant who was arrested for the killing of a nursing student “an illegal.” This upset some members of his political party. It also went against an order he gave when he first became president, telling government agencies not to use that term.

In April 2021, the Biden administration gave new instructions to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). They were told to stop using the terms “illegal alien” and “assimilation.” Instead, they were instructed to use “undocumented noncitizen” and “integration.” 

This was different from what former president Donald Trump’s administration did. They often called undocumented immigrants “illegal aliens” and described border crossings as an “invasion.” Similarly, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had made a change earlier in February of that year. 

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ALSO READ: ICE Captures Several Violent Illegal Migrants, Puts Them in Custody

They signed a memo encouraging the use of “more inclusive language” in their outreach, internal documents, and communication with stakeholders, partners, and the public. This meant they were also moving away from terms like “illegal alien” and focusing on more inclusive language.

“We set a tone and example for our country and partners across the world,” CBP’s acting commissioner, Troy Miller, previously wrote in an April 2021 memo.

“We enforce our nation’s laws while also maintaining the dignity of every individual with whom we interact. The words we use matter and will serve to further confer that dignity to those in our custody.”

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However, Biden went contrary against his administration’s efforts to create a more “humane” immigration system. This happened when he made a statement about the death of Riley last Thursday. 

POLL—Should the U.S. Government Create a Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants?

On February 22, 2024, 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley was abducted and killed while jogging at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Her body was found in Oconee Forest Park, and the cause of death was blunt force trauma. 

The suspect, José Antonio Ibarra is a 26-year-old Venezuelan who entered the U.S. illegally. He was arrested and charged with felony murder, false imprisonment, and kidnapping. 

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In response to the unfortunate incident, Biden called Riley “an innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal.” He then showed sympathy to her parents, saying, “My heart goes out to you, having lost children myself.” His comment triggered backlash from progressive Democrats and immigration advocates, as well as Republicans. 

Days later, Biden retracted his comment in an interview with MSNBC. He acknowledged his mistake by stating, “I shouldn’t have used ‘illegal.’ It’s ‘undocumented.” He also confirmed that he regretted his choice of words when asked.

ALSO READ: Texas Builds 2,300-Bed Military Base Camp at Border to Fight Illegal Migrants Influx

However, his political rival, former President Donald Trump, wasted no time to mock him. During a campaign rally in Riley’s home state of Georgia, Trump addressed his supporters, saying, “Joe Biden went on television and apologized for calling Laken’s murderer an illegal. Biden should be apologizing for apologizing to this killer.”

Following Trump’s statement, the White House clarified on Monday that Biden “absolutely did not apologize” for his use of the term “illegal.” Principal Deputy Press Secretary Olivia Dalton told reporters. “I want to be clear about something: the president absolutely did not apologize. There was no apology anywhere in that conversation, he used a different word.”

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