Murder Of Student And Runner Laken Riley Becomes Point Of Focus In Lead Up To U.S. Election

Her tragic death was brought up by President Joe Biden during State of Union address, causing outrage

Last Updated:

The tragic murder of Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student from Georgia, while out on a routine run has become a point of contention between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, highlighting the ongoing debate over immigration policies and border security.

During his State of the Union address last week, President Biden was goaded into referencing Riley’s death, identifying her alleged killer, Jose Ibarra, as an “illegal.” 

According to the New York Times, before the State of the Union began, President Biden was challenged by Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene to say Riley’s name and address her murder during his speech. Taylor Greene is known as an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump, particularly regarding his policies on immigration and border security.

Riley’s murder has become a critical talking point for politicians on the right, arguing that there needs to be drastically increased border security measures put in place. Those within the Democratic Party have stated that Republicans are callously leveraging a tragedy to take political shots at Biden in an election year.

Biden’s choice of terminology came as perhaps the most significant moment during his address. His words have since sparked considerable debate, with some within Biden’s party expressing concern over the language used. President Biden also mistakenly referred to her as “Lincoln Riley” during his speech.

Murder Of Student And Runner Laken Riley Becomes Point Of Focus In Lead Up To U.S. Election 1

In a subsequent interview, Biden expressed regret for his wording, acknowledging the sensitivity surrounding immigration terminology and opting for the term “undocumented” instead.

In response, Trump seized the opportunity to rally supporters during a campaign event in Georgia, blaming Biden’s immigration policies for Riley’s death and promising her family “justice.” 

Trump’s stance aligns with his emphasis on strict immigration controls and border enforcement.

Riley’s murder has reignited discussions on immigration, with Republicans rallying around the narrative of border security and criticizing what they perceive as the Biden administration’s leniency. 

Murder Of Student And Runner Laken Riley Becomes Point Of Focus In Lead Up To U.S. Election 2

Riley’s family and friends attended Trump’s rally.

As the 2024 presidential election approaches, Riley’s murder may remain a significant symbol in discussions surrounding immigration and border security.

Photo of author
Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.