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. razmataz

    He's got absolutely no room to complain. His own immigration laws are much stricter than ours, and THEY GET ENFORCED! He needs to look to his own economy and job creation. he needs to look to creating an atmosphere of law and order in his own country. But, nooooo, blame everything on the Great Satan, it's pathetic!

    May 19, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Bill Haverly

    There is no discrimination against Mexican people. All they have to do is apply for citizenship in accordance with US law and they will get it in turn. It is still criminal for anyone to come into the US illegally. Is Calderon saying that if US people illegally enter Mexico they will not spend months/years in jail there?

    May 19, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. John N Florida

    Then, Felipe, TAKE YOUR PEOPLE HOME!!

    May 19, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. concerned human

    Considering NPR just came out with a story on how the police and military have been allied with one of the drug cartels for some time now....

    AS WELL AS Mexico's policy on illegal immigration, I can't help but think this is just a show and he is really laughing at us behind closed doors.

    May 19, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. uncle ellsworthey

    Maybe if Calderon would keep them in Mexico where they belong they wouldnt face discrimination (not that they will anyway). Seems simple enough to me, stop whining and do something.

    May 19, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Rick in OP

    President Calderon,
    Perhaps it is time for Mexico to stop behaving like a third world dung heap and start respecting the borders and laws of its neighbors.

    May 19, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. Givemeabreak!!!

    Calderon is president of Mexico -not the United States. Maybe if he did something to improve living conditions in his own country, the U.S. would not have an ILLEGAL immigration problem.

    May 19, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. Ken

    And how does Calderon handle US residents who enter his country illegally? Oh, ya, lke every nation on this planet except the US – stiff jail terms and if you are lucky, deportation.

    May 19, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    Well, Mr. Calderon, if you'd keep your people on your side of the border where they belong, this wouldn't be a problem.

    May 19, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. Dirk Ward

    That's just too bad. When he gets a REAL country, he can make some laws that he can play with in HIS country. This is our country, and I mean the country of AMERICANS, a REAL country.....that constantly comes to the defense of other countries and sends aid to them, even when Iran had those bad earthquakes, we one of the first to arrive with help. He can't even keep his own people safe in HIS country. Think he's got more to worry about than a State in THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA trying to enforce laws that should have been enforced a long time ago. If you are breaking the law by being here, then you are a lawbreaker and therefore a criminal. Do they think that only getting caught and arrested and convicted only counts for being a criminal? Even then, they seem to think that it's not right and we're just being a MEAN country, trying to defend our borders.

    May 19, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  11. Kaley Trends

    Will the US president apologize for the Arizona law, or will he say he will have it overturned? Why did Obama and his creeps stop building the fence, knowing there is a huge problem in the Southwest with people coming over the border illegally? Can the president and his creeps assure the US public that only poor Mexicans are coming over the border?

    May 19, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. Linda

    "our people? Then keep "your" people in your country and stop
    screwing US taxpayers who pay the bills for your illegals who
    use our schools, hospitals, roads, housing, utilities, etc.

    Take care of your own Calderon – the United States has its own
    problems, and does not need to take on your problems.

    May 19, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Sniffit

    Whether you agree with AZ or Calderon or have some other ideas about the whole thing, the simple fact of Calderon speaking up about this, not the substance of what he says, highlights one of the fundamental reasons federal law pre-empts the states with respect to immigration and citizenship policy, regulation and enforcement. States shouldn't be tampering with our foreign relations as an entire nation by inserting themselves directly into them the manner AZ has.

    That being said, AZ can shove it, because their legal turd of a bill was just as motivated by racist underpinnings and political maneuvering during a mid-term election year as it was by honest concerns regarding illegal immigration.

    May 19, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. Tom

    If it's such an insult then keep your people home. This law has nothing to do with racism or discrimination. It is a law that will be used to send illegal aliens back to their respective countries. I am tired of hearing about the poor illegal aliens. They are ILLEGAL. They have broken the law. I applaud the Arizona Law and I give it my full support.

    If President Calderon wants to end this law then he must do something for his country. Like making it more advantageous for Mexicans to stay in Mexico instead of having to move out of his country to find a better life. It is not our responsibility to fix his problem. Man up!!!!

    May 19, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. mal

    tell him to keep his people out of our country and we won't have a problem, end of story

    May 19, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. Maria H-Miami

    I totally disagree and I'm a U.S. Citizen. There is nothing wrong with an Officer during a traffic violation making sure that people are in our country legally.

    Why should people be allowed to stay in our country illegally while everyone else goes through the process and lives here legally.

    I have no problem showing my Citizenship Certificate.

    May 19, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. bennie raingirl2

    Calderon to you I say keep your people at home and try teaching them how to respect other countries Tell them what your Mexican constitution dictates in regards to the entrance of illegals from other countries to your country until you stand on the right side of the law I have no respect for you or your country and certainly your illegal invaders. You sir is a hypocrite

    May 19, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  18. gary

    Well, DUH!!!!! Keep them on your side of the border.

    May 19, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. Jeff

    Notice he said "our people", all of which are here ILLEGALLY! That is a CRIME in the USA. Tell your people to stay home in the country that they are allowed to be LEGALLY and they will not be faced with discrimination. Can I say I am discriminated against when I get pulled over for speeding? No, because it is ILLEGAL. That is the point that everyone seems to be missing.

    Well I have a simple answer for all of those who are worried about it, get legal, or go back to the parts of the planet that you are from and you will not have to worry about it. Easy enough right?

    May 19, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. AZ Coug

    With all due respect, the law is not causing "his people" to face discrimination; their choice to enter the U.S. illegaly is causing them to face discrimination. Calderon's comment suggests "his people" have a legal right to be here, which is not true.

    We have a law - maybe a bad law, maybe one that needs to be revamped - but a law nonetheless. What is the point of having a law that we aren't going to enforce?

    May 19, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. MH

    his people??? sounds like they shouldnt be in arizona

    May 19, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Kevin

    OMG....The President of the country trying to take us over illegaly isnt happy....well by all means....keep it up. If the corruptness that is Calderone doesnt like it we MUST be doing something right. How DARE he come over to complain. If he wasnt just another in a long line of failures of a country that has been failing its own people for centuries, then neither country would be having a problem.

    May 19, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. Mark from Louisiana

    Shame we have no one in the white house that will tell Calderon that America will now treat people in the country illegally the same way Mexico does to folks that sneak across it's borders.

    May 19, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. Independent

    Calderon should be ashamed of himself that he can't take care of his people and let them come to the US illegally.

    May 19, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. Rickster

    If Obama had any stones whatsoever he would have immediately stepped up and reminded Calderon that if he would clean up the manure-hole of a country that he runs people wouldn't be trying to bail out by the droves thus eliminating the problem to begin with. But I'm sure that Barry agreed with Calderon and apologized for America being a "downright mean country". Pathetic, the two of them.

    May 19, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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