(CNN) - Politically sensitive issues such as immigration, border security, drug trafficking and trade took center stage in Washington on Wednesday as President Barack Obama welcomed his Mexican counterpart, Felipe Calderon, to the White House.
Both leaders used the occasion - the fourth time they have met for bilateral talks - to take sharp aim at Arizona's controversial new law meant to crack down on illegal immigrants. Calderon characterized the measure as discriminatory; Obama called it a "misdirected expression of frustration."
The leaders criticized the law while meeting with reporters shortly after Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rolled out the red carpet for Calderon in a formal White House arrival ceremony.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and Mexican first lady Margarita Zavala joined their husbands for the occasion, which was to be followed by a state dinner Wednesday night. Calderon is to address a joint session of Congress on Thursday.
"Our progress today marks another step forward in a new era of cooperation and partnership between our countries, a partnership based on mutual interests, mutual respect and mutual responsibility," Obama said.
Calderon said that the United States and Mexico now face a series of common challenges, including climate change and organized crime - a rising threat to border stability.
Updated: 3:47 p.m.
Poor choice of words. If they are "[your] people, then they are the problem." It is the actual American citizen that faces the discrimination which underlies this law.
Well Felipe...if they are "your" people, then take them back. "We" don't want them here to begin with. Besides, maybe if you treated "your" people a little better, then they would not want to come to the U.S. to begin with.
Then be a good president and keep your people in their own country!
Calderon should shut his trap, and fix his country's issues so that his people have jobs and security. Then they won't invade our country illegally. As it is, he's just looking to dump his problems in our nation's lap. Screw him.
Your people will not face discrimination if they say in Mexico idiot.
The people who are here illegally are being asked to quit breaking the law and leave. That's law enforcement, not discrimination.
Calderon's policy of sending his poor and uneducated people into another country illegally is causing the problems. He's only bummed because he neither wants them back and he'll be missing out on all the money they send back home.
Hey Calderon, if you're that concerned why don't put some effort into keeping your people on your own side of the border? How about ending the corrupt Mexican government practice of supporting the drug cartels? Once they cross over into Arizona illegally "your people" deserve whatever they get.
So it's discriminatory to arrest a criminal?
After all, if they snuck into the USA, which is a crime, we should not arrest them?
Interesting train of thought from the mexican leader.
Obviously another politician who has not read the law.
Very democratic of him.
coming to america is a privilege not a right Calderon does not believe that but it is sad to see that our President is not willing to recognize America`right to pick and choose.
Maybe Calderon should focus on making his country a better place so his citizens wouldn't need to flee it. Who is he to be pointing the finger at Arizona?
then take them all home with you.....and take care of them in your country so they don't want/need to come here. nobody should have to immigrate to another country just to get the basics of life. start providing for mexican citizens in mexico and they won't think that life is better here.
SO What they can go home instead of bankrupting america like mexico
not to worry, our illustrious president will profusely apologize and all will be well
Well then why don't you take your people back so they won't have to face "discrimination"!
It is obvious that Calderon didn't read the law also, otherwise he wouldn't say that.
I bet he is just like Eric Holder, Napalintino, the state department guy and obama, none of them have read the bill but go on tv badmouthing it.
Hey, pal, if they are "your" people, why are they "here"?
Of course the Pres. of Mexico would criticize the law–illegal Mexican citizens work in the USA and send their earnings back to their families and into Mexico's economy. He likes that.
This is insanity...the President of another country is telling the US that we shouldn't apply the rule of law of our own nation against people from his country who are in the US illegally!?!?
This is the same as if Obama told Calderon that he should not pass laws outlawing public drunkenness, because it discriminates against US college students in Mexico on Spring Break!
Is President Calderon familiar with his own country's illeagal alien legislation? I guess it does not profile, it says they can deport or imprison ANYONE they think is not contributing. And I am quite sure they have a lot of illeagal imigrants from Norway.
If Calderon feel we are discriminating then he should do more to keep his people home!!!!!
If they are "his" people, they wouldn't be in Arizona.
Let's see. Arizona has a senator that has been in congress for abuot 30 years. He goes by the name of John McCain. Where was john McCain on this issue in 2000 when he ran for President? Where was he on this issue 20 years prior to that?
I am tired of all this politically correct stuff. If you come in to the United States undocumented which is a nice word for illegal alien you should be subject to be deported period. If i entered any other country illegaly without proper documents I should not be surprised if i am deported period.