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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. GI Joe

    They break the law – live with our laws or go back to mexico.

    May 19, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. Bill from GA

    Let's make a deal: We legalize pot to eliminate the illegal trade and the violence associated with it. They fix their economy so a working person can make a living in Mexico.

    Also we seal the borders and enforce laws on hiring undocumented workers.

    May 19, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  3. Brian

    I guess it's no surprise that he says "our people" which is a one-sided racial view of the situation. It'd be nice if Mexico could boost it's economy enough that "their people" don't have to cross the border to America to accept sub-standard wages and dilute the U.S. work force. A Fail to both Mexico and the U.S. for controlling illegal immigration. If the U.S. controlled it's borders, the outrageous AZ law wouldn't have been possible.

    May 19, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. pam

    If they are his people why doesn't he tell them to come home or make it harder for them to leave Mexico in the first place.
    I can't feel too badly about any consequences that people here against our laws might face.
    We MUST do something about this. I am a Democrat and I feel I have to side with AZ on this. There are many states facing financial ruin try to care of people who are even our citizens. The true American including the ones here from other coutries leagaly need our help.

    May 19, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. JR

    I have driven into Mexico many times. As soon as you cross the boarder you are required to obtain papers and at one time pay a registration fee for your vehicle. There are military check points all along the roads heading south, from all boarder entry points. Each one, they ask you to show your papers and they go thru your luggage and car. They do not do this for those who look like Mexican nationals, only us whites. Now the Mexican President has the audacity to criticize Arizonas law which merely states that if stopped for a law violation, and no state issued papers can be provided (drivers licence, registration, insurance), then the officer has the right to ask for legal citizenship papers. We Arizonans are tired of paying large insurance fees and medical fees to cover those illegals who do not purchase these items but are the main abusers of our system. Currently, if they get stopped or arrested, they get a ticket and disappear and never have to even pay the ticket much less actually carry insurance and registration. Our emergency rooms are extremely over burdened because they can not be denied and do not carry insurance. We legal people have to carry their costs. And illegals are by far the main commiters of unlawful acts in our state. No more!!

    May 19, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. Sandra Eddy

    Enforce immigration laws forward, if we feel that's necessary–not with a wall! However, give permanent resident status or, make citizenship attainable for law-abiding people who came to this country seeking a better life. The "crime" is no more on people who came here without papers than a government who turned it's head, businesses and private people who employed those without papers. I will not spend a dime on anything that benefits Arizona until the STOP the sstupidity!

    May 19, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. Diane

    Our People? What? He is a guest in OUR country. What right does he have to comment on OUR laws? Send him home too.

    May 19, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. patNY

    Hey Cal! Your "people" can avoice discrimination by stop crossing our borders illegally! Stop sending us your garbage illegal aliens and we won't need laws like this one!

    May 19, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. Enough

    All this over reaction to Arizonas cry for help...........and these fools, including Holder haven't even read the bill. Eric Holder needs to be removed, he is nothing but a cancer on the Obama administration.

    May 19, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. Debbie from Arizona

    I think President Calderon should spend more time fixing his own country, which has been a shambles for decades. Instead of being critical of the way Arizona has tried to put a bandaide on the flow of illegal immigrants flocking to our country, he should focus on making Mexico safe and economically viable, so that the Mexican people wouldn't feel they have to come here in order to make a living. I have much sympathy for the people who give up their homes and families to make the dangerous trek to our country, but I blame the Mexican leadership, or lack thereof the the situation.

    May 19, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. Bill

    If "discrimination" happens because someone is breaking the laws, I guess that murders, bank robbers, and rapists are "discriminated" against also when they are caught and punished.

    Does the president of Mexico "descriminate" when he puts drug cartel members in prison?


    May 19, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. Gary

    It's true. This law wasn't ment for Canadians, or Europeans, just Mexicans. I know, I know it's about illegals (wink, wink).

    May 19, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  13. Michael

    Then take them all back, give them the same luxuries in your country that they expect/demand in this nation and call it a day.

    May 19, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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