May 19th, 2010
10:24 AM ET
8 years ago

U.S., Mexican presidents say key issues must be tackled together

Calderon is visiting the White House.

Calderon is visiting the White House.

(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.

Full story

soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. barbara

    There is only one way to fix this mess. Punish the employers that hire these illegal immigrants. Fine them, jail them but punish them in a way that they will immediately see the error of their ways. In doing this, the employers will either close up shop or hire legal citizens to do the work. If an illegal can not locate work that will provide for him/her, and their extended family in their country of origin, then they will leave or will not come at all.

    May 19, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Brenda

    Who cares what Calderone says.........

    Someone needs to tell him to keep his "people' in their own country--and not encourage them to come to our country to take our jobs and force US citizens/tax payers to support them.

    Mexico is a joke--corruption and drug cartel influence in the government, military, and police force--–and they are going to try to tell our country what to do.

    Illegals are sending at "least" $27 billion a year back to Mexico--and Calderone definitely does not want that gravy train to end.

    Look at Mexico's immigration laws. No matter what--natural born Mexican citizens ONLY are allowed to vote in their elections. Foreigners are not allowed to own businesses/property in Mexico, it is leased. They do NOT tolerate illegals in their country in any way.

    May 19, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. Bradley - Az

    Who gives a flying **** what the Mexican president thinks of a law in a state of a country that is NOT Mexico?

    May 19, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. JES

    Your people should not even be in this country since they can't come in the front door.

    Every country in the world has their own language, flag, and laws.

    Your people will not even learn how to speak or write English but they cost us billions of our tax payer dollars every year.

    Why don't you keep them home and try and teach them there is a right and wrong way to come into another country your people are going about it the wrong way.

    Go AZ because our government is to lazy to enforce the laws we have on the books now.

    I hope to visit AZ this year to help your state and I wish other boder states would wake up and do the same thing.

    May 19, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Mike in NYC

    "Your people" are invaders. How about taking them back, instead of flushing your sewers into the US? You're an oil producer. Use the revenue to improve your country so people won't want to leave.

    Heaven forbid a US government should ever talk about "its people" and the need to protect them from invasion.

    May 19, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. RayP #11n

    You've got to be kidding me right!

    Shut the border down NOW!

    May 19, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. Steve (the real one)

    If by "Our people" you really mean Illegal immigrants, OH WELL! Respect our laws! We are not North Mexico! Exactly how does your country handle illegal immigrants? Most AMERICANS support this AMERICAN law in an AMERICAN state!

    May 19, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. stevegee

    If you're in this country illegally, you should be arrested and deported. Better yet, throw out the Mexican president, too! He has no say in our country's immigration law.

    May 19, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. Fair is Fair

    Hey Calderon,

    Before you go off with useless blather, why dont you – EXPLICITLY – spell out for the fans EXACTLY what the immigration policy in Mexico is... as well as what the penalties and consequences are for violations.


    Go home and STAY THERE.

    May 19, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. Doug

    What would happen if I were caught in Mexico being an illegal alien? What are Mexico's laws? Are they similar to the US? From what I have heard on the major networks, I don't think they are.

    May 19, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Ben in Texas

    Those who will suffer most will be American citizens of Hispanic descent. They will have their lives disrupted over and over as cops pull them aside and make them prove their citizenship. Some of these folks have lived in Arizona for many generations, far longer than snowbirds who have retired there, but they will be treated as if they were here illegally. That's how profiling works, and it is too big a burden for one group of people to carry.

    What needs to happen is to put employers in jail for breaking the law by hiring illegal aliens. I believe that would punish the ones who are truly guilty, and it would demonstrate just how much America relies on virtual slave labor.

    May 19, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. Chris

    Well Eff Calderon. If he doesn't like it he can gather these criminals up and take them back home.

    May 19, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. Scott

    News flash, they're not 'your people' when they flee your country because you can't protect them or provide the most basic of human rights. Stop telling the US how to handle our foreign policy, I've seen how Mexico treats illegal aliens and it's not the touchy-feely crap you're asking the US to do.

    May 19, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  14. Colorado Citizen

    Calderon has zero credibility. Don't forget that Calderon comes from a country in which the 50 richest familes (who all happen to be white Spaniards and not Meztisos) own 90% of Mexico's wealth, vast oil reserves have been plundered for decades, and continue to be plundered, by a corrupt few and privileged, Mexican federal police commonly rape and murder illegal immigrants (according to Amnesty International), drug cartels control and own entire cities, illiteracy is over 65%, and well over half the population lives in grinding poverty. The Mexican government is also shot through with corruption. Fix your own house, Mr. Calderon, before you come preaching to us. The days of the big safety valve for all of Mexico's severe social problems (i.e., illegal immigration to the US when things get tough) are numbered. We Americans have had enough of your nonsense and inability to govern, and now we're going to do something about it. And BTW, amnesty is not in the cards –Americans will never accept such a ludicrous concept again. We did it in 1986, and won't repeat the mistake.

    May 19, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. infonomics

    "Our people". To whom does he reference? Surely not the illegals whom Mexico dispatched with indifference. Blatant example of false sincerity.

    May 19, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. Wisconsinite

    Oh yeah?? Well, the reason "your people" come here in droves is because they face horrible poverty and crime in YOUR country, Calderon! Clean up your OWN country before you start saying ANYTHING about this one!

    May 19, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  17. alicia

    Then your people should stop breaking OUR laws!! Anyone who is here illegally should face the consequences of their own willfull actions. End of story.

    I fully support AZ law and wish more states would do the same!

    May 19, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Will Mr Calderon then accept responsibility for the crime and depredation caused by the citizens of his country who are wreaking havoc in Arizona? Will he, at the expense of the Mexican government, indemnify the people of Arizona against losses suffered at the hands of his citizens illegally in the US?

    I doubt it.

    May 19, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. Where the help for the rest of us

    Mexico has stricter immigration law than the US, how can he bad mouth our system when his more limited.

    May 19, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. Illinois 2

    If the mexican government would put their citizens to work for a decent wage, they would stay in mexico where they belong......

    May 19, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. Dave

    Screw him. If an American is in Mexico and gets stopped for anything and doesn't have a passport, he will go right to jail. They also do not ened a reason to stop you.
    ON top of that, half their officers are on the take from drug lords.
    Add to that the fact that the Mexican government was actually printing pamphelts on how to cross the border, where to get free food and water, and where to get medical care IN THE USA!

    So screw him.

    I only wish we had a president with the cajones big enough to tell him so. Instead, Obama will probably apologize, even though it is the American people he should apologize to because he has failed to secure and protect the border.

    May 19, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  22. Holding Up A Mirror

    I don't know that I've ever heard a Governor bad mouth the President of the United States the way Ms. Brewer has. It is indicative of the disrespect some neocon extremists exhibit towards our leader.

    Ms. Brewer ... a Republican ... could help her state a whole lot more by getting behind a ban on assault weapons ... so that the DRUG CARTELS in Mexico [which are spilling over her border] are not better armed than the police.

    Ms. Brewer could help her state's citizens a whole lot more by cracking down on suburban drug users that fund the DRUG CARTEL'S illegal operation.

    Illegal aliens are not the cause of the problems in Arizona. We've had illegals in this country since Reagan was President. What has changed is the DRUG CARTEL activity which has it's ROOTS in GUNS and American Consumers.

    May 19, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. JP

    Obama could learn a lot from President Calderon, he knows how to secure his southern borders against illegals and how to handle them if they come in. He doesn't give the illegals free medical treatment and free educations for their children etc etc. Obama just wants another 11 million votes in 2012 after that most illegals will join the 47% of working Americans who pay no federal income tax and/or receive refundable tax credits. Hay Obama how will it cost us taxpayers to give the 11 illegals your new health insurance.

    May 19, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. Charles W

    They stop being "his people" when they flee his corrupt country and come to ours. He needs to shut up and fix his own country before worrying about how we run ours.

    May 19, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  25. Proud Conservative

    Well, here's an idea. Why not keep "your people" out of the U.S. Mr. Calderon? These illegals have NO business being here. Perhaps you should work to fix your own country rather than criticizing ours.

    May 19, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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