Incoming Mexican president praises Obama’s immigration plan: ‘We want to help’

mexican pres electIncoming president of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto and President Barack Obama congratulated one another for their political victories at a White House meeting Tuesday.  Joining the two men were Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Along with public words of admiration, Obama said he would look forward to cooperation from the new leader to tackle the problem of illegal immigration flowing from Mexico.

According to the AP report, Pena Nieto said he would work with the U.S. to create “a safe, modern, connected . . . legal border” between the countries.

Peña Nieto pointed out similarities between himself and President Obama.

“We were both congressmen — legislators, as we say in Spanish — in our respective congresses in our own countries,” he said. “And this means we’re very sensitive to the needs of our peoples. And we also share a very important vision, the vision for instance of creating more jobs. We know this is very important, not only for the American people but also for the Mexican peoples, for both of our nations.”

The president-elect praised Obama’s immigration plan.

“We fully support your proposal,” said Peña Nieto. “We want to contribute. We want to be part of this.”

Peña Nieto invited Obama to the 2013 North American Leaders Summit, to which he responded:

“Any excuses to go to Mexico. I’m always game.”

But it will be Vice President Joe Biden attending the inauguration ceremony in Mexico early next month.

From the pool report:

“We only send the vice president to inaugurations if your county is at the very top of the list,” Obama said, eliciting a chuckle from Biden.

Obama praised the work of outgoing Mexican President Felipe Calderón, whom he said “established an excellent working relationship” with the U.S., and said he looked forward to establishing a similar “close personal and professional relationship.” Obama said he looked forward to continuing work with Mexican officials on “border issues” as well as “regional and global issues,” noting that Mexico has become an “important multilateral, multinational partner.”

“What happens in Mexico has an impact on our society,” Obama said.

Remarks from the visit are found in the following video:

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