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Marjorie Taylor Greene interrupts Biden's State of the Union over Laken Riley's murder

During his third State of the Union address, President Joe Biden addressed the murder of a Georgia student that Republicans have cited during criticism of his border policies.

The president was discussing the bipartisan immigration deal negotiated between the White House and Senate.

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Biden slammed his "predecessor" for prioritizing a political win over helping the American people, and also drew a contrast with former President Donald Trump on immigration rhetoric and policy.

"I will not demonize immigrants, saying they 'poison the blood of our country,' as he said in his own words," Biden said of Trump. "I will not separate families. I will not ban people from America because of their faith."

PHOTO: President Joe Biden holds up a Laken Riley button as he delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol, Mar. 7, 2024, in Washington.  (Andrew Harnik/AP)
PHOTO: President Joe Biden holds up a Laken Riley button as he delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol, Mar. 7, 2024, in Washington. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

The president then engaged in an ad-libbed exchange with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. after she called out from the chamber about Laken Riley. The 22-year-old nursing student was killed last month while running on the University of Georgia's campus. The suspect in her murder is a Venezuelan migrant whom officials say was illegally in the U.S.

"Laken Riley," Biden said, appearing to mispronounce her name, "an innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal."

PHOTO: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene calls out as President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address during a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol, on March 7, 2024, in Washington, D.C.  (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene calls out as President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address during a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol, on March 7, 2024, in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Biden also held up a button with "Say her name, Laken Riley" written on it that Greene had handed to him earlier as he entered the chamber while saying to him, "Say her name," in what's become a GOP rallying cry. They and Donald Trump claim Biden and administration officials have avoided saying her name so as not to highlight the crime and the suspect.

"To her parents, I say, my heart goes out to you having lost children myself. I understand," he said.

PHOTO: President Joe Biden holds up a Laken Riley button as he delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol, Mar. 7, 2024, in Washington.  (Andrew Harnik/AP)
PHOTO: President Joe Biden holds up a Laken Riley button as he delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol, Mar. 7, 2024, in Washington. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

MORE: Read President Biden's State of the Union address as prepared for delivery

Alabama Sen. Katie Britt also addressed Riley's murder while delivering the GOP response to Biden's State of the Union.

"She was brutally murdered by one of the millions of illegal border crossers President Biden chose to release into our homeland," she said. "Y’all, as a mom, I can't quit thinking about this. I mean, this could have been my daughter. This could have been yours. And tonight, President Biden finally said her name, but he refused to take responsibility for his own actions."

PHOTO: Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene wears a MAGA hat as President Joe Biden arrives to deliver the State of the Union address in the House Chamber of the US Capitol in Washington, Mar. 7, 2024.  (Andrew Caballero-reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene wears a MAGA hat as President Joe Biden arrives to deliver the State of the Union address in the House Chamber of the US Capitol in Washington, Mar. 7, 2024. (Andrew Caballero-reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden's address came hours after the House passed the Laken Riley Act, which would require detention of any unauthorized migrant who commits burglary or theft.

The suspect charged in Riley's killing, Jose Antonio Ibarra, unlawfully entered the U.S. near El Paso, Texas, in September 2022 and was paroled and released for further processing, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

PHOTO: Laken Riley is seen in an undated photo. (Augusta University)
PHOTO: Laken Riley is seen in an undated photo. (Augusta University)

ICE said that Ibarra was subsequently arrested by New York City police in 2023 and released before federal officials could ask for his detention. The NYPD has said there is no arrest on file.

Earlier in the day Thursday, the Laken Riley Act passed the House 251-170, with 37 Democrats voting for it. Some opposing it believe Republicans are using Riley's death for their own political gain to place blame on the Biden administration's border policies as polling shows immigration is a top issue for some voters.

Marjorie Taylor Greene interrupts Biden's State of the Union over Laken Riley's murder originally appeared on abcnews.go.com