A barbed wire fence in Arizona stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will deploy up to 1,200 more National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico, an administration official told CNN on Tuesday.
In addition, Obama will request $500 million to supplement current spending for enhanced border protection and law enforcement activities, the official said.
The National Guard troops will help with drug enforcement efforts and intelligence efforts until Customs and Border Protection can recruit and train additional officers and agents to serve on the border, the official said.
The scene is set for the second State Dinner of the Obama presidency. Pictured here is the entertainment tent. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images) .
Washington (CNN) – America's first couple welcomed their Mexican counterparts Wednesday to the second State Dinner of the Obama administration, a night of pomp and ceremony that both leaders hope will demonstrate the important relationship between the North American neighbors.
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, dressed in a flowing blue gown, welcomed Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his wife at the White House steps as a military honor guard saluted and media cameras clicked and whirred.
In an unrehearsed moment, a White House aide slipped while walking out with the Obamas before their guests arrived, and both the president and first lady immediately called out, "Don't take that picture," to the media gallery.
The more than 200 invited guests, including diplomats, White House officials and celebrities including actresses Whoopi Goldberg and Eva
Longoria-Parker, arrived through a separate entrance for the Mexican-themed dinner and musical performances.
Washington (CNN) - U.S. diplomacy toward Mexico was fueled Wednesday by sea trout, lemon meringue pie and hibiscus iced tea.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice-President Joe Biden hosted the lunch for Mexican President Calderon at the State Department.
The top floor Benjamin Franklin reception room was filled with tables covered with red tablecloths, gold-rimmed glasses and gold and white china. Some tables held large green ceramic pineapples with pots of pink and white flowers. Waiters had carefully placed hibiscus blossoms in each glass of ice tea.
In opening remarks, Clinton said "the United States is proud to be Mexico's friend, partner and neighbor."
(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.
Washington (CNN) - Last week, it was Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai getting the Washington treatment - and the pledges of long-term U.S. commitment.
But when the Afghanistan entourage exited the whirl of White House, State Department and Capitol Hill visits, you could almost hear the Obama administration take a quick breath and shout out, "Next!"
Waiting in the wings is the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, flying in this week for a formal arrival ceremony, a state dinner at the White House, an address to a joint meeting of Congress and an airing of the difficult issues that bleed across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Updated: 7:16 p.m.
MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) - The United States needs to do more to reduce demand for illegal drugs if it wants to help reduce the violence that has wracked its southern neighbor, Michelle Obama said Wednesday.
The first lady of the United States made that comment after meeting with her Mexican counterpart, Margarita Zavala de Calderon, whose "New Life Centers" help with prevention and education so that fewer young people will become addicted.
"We need to do more of the same," said Obama, who cited education and opportunity as key elements to any successful anti-drug campaign.
"What we do know in both countries is that, if young people have opportunities, if they know that they're going to get a solid education, perhaps go to college or at least get a job that's going to pay a wage that is going to allow them to live a decent life and care for their families and grandchildren, they're going to make the better choice.
"But so often, in our countries, those opportunities don't exist," she told CNN en Espanol's Juan Carlos Lopez.
GUADALAJARA, Mexico (CNN) - President Obama said Monday at the North American Leaders Summit he is committed to "fix the broken immigration system."
The three North American countries depend on their borders being safe and secure, Obama said, adding that he supports "orderly and legal" migration, while respecting the American tradition of welcoming immigrants.
GUADALAJARA, Mexico (CNN) - President Obama said Monday the United States remains Mexico's partner in the fight against drug cartels, despite some calls in the United States to delay counter-narcotics aid because of alleged human rights violations by Mexican soldiers.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon reaffirmed his commitment to transparency and human rights in his offensive against the cartels, Obama said.
Some $100 million in anti-drug aid, known as the Merida Initiative, could be delayed because of concerns about human rights violations, it was reported last week.
"We have been very supportive of the Merida Initiative, and we remain supportive," Obama said.
Obama also said the United States would work to reduce demand for drugs and stop the illegal flow weapons south to Mexico.
The remarks came at a summit of North American leaders in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also expressed support for Mexico's strategy, saying that the drug cartels were a problem shared by all three countries.
MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) - President Obama will meet with the leaders of Mexico and Canada on Monday, with the three expected to discuss a broad range of issues.
Obama arrived in Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city, Sunday evening for the day and a half of talks with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. They are not expected to make any major announcements.
In the days leading up the North American Leaders' Summit, officials said the trio would discuss the economy, drug violence and the environment. They are expected to hold a joint news conference at 12:30 p.m. ET Monday.
"The themes of this summit are: one, economic recovery and competitiveness; two, citizen safety and security; and three, clean energy and climate change. All are core priorities of this administration," Gen. James Jones, U.S. national security adviser, said before the summit.
More than 4,000 policemen and soldiers were maintaining a security perimeter around the building where the meetings were to take place.
(CNN) - Top Obama administration officials were in Albuquerque on Friday to announce new efforts to combat the flow of illegal drugs from Mexico.
The White House released a summary of its National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy, aimed at not only stemming the trafficking of illegal narcotics, but also slowing the flow of cash and illegal firearms into Mexico.
The plan involves increased intelligence and enhanced technology. It also includes "targeted financial sanctions to disable drug trafficking
organizations," as well as heightened cooperation with Mexico, the White House said.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Attorney General Eric Holder, and White House Drug Policy Chief Gil Kerlikowske planned to discuss the strategy at a news conference.
Rising drug violence in the United States is one of the administration's top domestic concerns.
–CNN's Terry Frieden contributed to this report.