Washington, DC – The Congressional Hispanic Caucus met today with Mexican President Felipe Calderón to discuss U.S.-Mexico relations, focusing attention on economic development, improving security on both sides of the border and working to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. During the meeting, CHC Members underscored their opposition to the recently enacted Arizona law, SB 1070, and discussed the urgency in enacting a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
“Our countries not only share a border but also important economic, social, and political partnerships,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Chairwoman of Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “In our meeting today, President Calderón reaffirmed Mexico’s commitment to working with the United States on the many issues that affect both our nations profoundly. The Caucus looks forward to cooperating with him as we tackle enormous challenges like fostering economic development, securing our border, and enacting comprehensive immigration reform.”
“President Calderon’s frank and courageous message to Congress reinforces our mutual interests in combating criminal elements, reforming immigration laws and accommodating trade between our two countries,” said Congressman Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas), First Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
“Our deep ties and close friendship with Mexico drive us to work together towards a shared prosperity and to find common sense solutions to the problems that both face,” said Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-California), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus. “I’m encouraged to see Presidents Obama and Calderon collaborating to fix our broken immigration system and to end the flow of illegal drugs and weapons between the United States and Mexico. The people of both countries expect courageous leadership to sustain our economic recovery, create good jobs at home and improve opportunity and security for all our citizens.”
“Today’s meeting reaffirmed the connections between our great nations,” said Congressman José E. Serrano (D-New York). “President Calderon shares our vision for a stable, respectful relationship between equal nations and their people. He also shares our belief in the need for comprehensive immigration reform as soon as possible.”
“President Calderón was moving and eloquent as he highlighted the many reasons why Mexico and the United States are each made stronger by working together,” said Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-California).
“President Calderón made a very strong case for Mexico and the United States working in partnership to strengthen our economies and create jobs while addressing other critical challenges that our nations’ share, including assault weapon and drug trafficking, immigration and climate change.”
“Today’s CHC meeting with President Calderón was an excellent opportunity to discuss our nations’ shared values and interests,” said Congressman Joe Baca (D-California). “The president understands that a strong partnership between the United States and Mexico is critical to the future success and security of both our nations. He also understands that laws driven by racial fears and prejudices, like Arizona SB 1070, are detrimental to U.S.-Mexico relations. I was pleased to give him a red, yellow, and blue wristband, for him to express his opposition to the misguided Arizona legislation.”
“The Caucus has long supported efforts to wipe out cartels and bring an end to the flow of illicit drugs into the U.S.,” said Velázquez. “All of us understand that winning that fight means stopping illegal firearms from reaching Mexico and Congress will continue to work to ensure these weapons do not end up in the wrong hands.”
The meeting is the last stop on a two-day trip by President Calderón to the United States and followed his speech to a joint session of Congress on Thursday morning.