Mexican president Felipe Calderon visited the United States this week to discuss issues important to the two nations with President Barack Obama and Congress. In an address to Congress, Calderon said he does not support the recently passed immigration law in Arizona, which stipulates that law enforcement officials must stop anyone they suspect of being in the United States illegally. Some Republican lawmakers criticized Calderon's remarks and did not applaud after he stated his position on the Arizona law. But, Calderon also went beyond the new law and called for attacking the root of the problem by offering "legal, order(ed) and secure flows of workers and visitors" between Mexico and the U.S.
President Calderon also asked Congress for help in stopping the drug violence in his country. He's using the Mexican army to battle drug traffickers, but the violence has claimed at least 23,000 lives since he took office in 2006.
While First Lady Michelle Obama was visiting a Washington, D.C.-area school accompanied by President Calderon's wife, a little girl brought up the immigration issue as well. She asked whether her mother, who does not have legal documentation to be in the U.S., will get deported because of the new Arizona law. Mrs. Obama replied that the issue is "something that we have to work on."
"Yes, well, that's something that we have to work on, right, to make sure that people can be here with the right kind of papers, right? That is exactly right." - First Lady Michelle Obama
"I am convinced that a comprehensive immigration reform is also crucial to securing our common border. However, I strongly disagree with your recently adopted law in Arizona." - Mexican President Felipe Calderon
"Members of the Congress, I am not a president who likes to see Mexicans leave our country searching for opportunities abroad. With migration, our communities lose their best people, the hardest-working, the most dynamic, the leaders of the communities." Mexican President Felipe Calderon
1. Where is Mexico?
2. Why is the immigration issue so important when it comes to relations with Mexico?
3. Have you been to Mexico? If so, what were your impressions of it? If not, what have you heard about life in Mexico?
1. Why do many Mexicans immigrate to the United States? What are they seeking?
2. Do you agree with the immigration law recently passed in Arizona? Why or why not?
3. Michelle Obama said we need to "work on making sure people can be here with the right kind of papers." What does she mean by that? What kind of legislation would be necessary to make that happen?
Mexican President's Visit Returns Immigration to the Spotlight:
Arizona Immigration Law Opens Up Old Wounds, New Battles:
Lesson Plan: Immigration Reform: Understanding the Issue From Different Points of View: