suntimes
COPACETIC 
Weather Updates

Obama: Security relationship with Mexico to evolve

Obama: Immigration important for US-Mexico trade

MEXICO CITY (AP) — President Barack Obama says there’s another reason it’s important to overhaul the U.S. immigration system: It’s the amount of business conducted between the United States and Mexico.

The White House says that last year alone, trade between the countries totaled nearly half a trillion dollars.

Mexico also is the United States’ second-largest trading partner.

Obama says it will help the economies of both countries to not be constantly bogged down by border issues. And, he says if immigration is going to get done, now is the time to do it.

Obama spoke Thursday in Mexico City, where he is on his first trip to Latin America since winning re-election.

Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: May 2, 2013 5:38PM



MEXICO CITY (AP) — Acknowledging the uncertainty that lies ahead, President Barack Obama said Thursday that the U.S. will cooperate with Mexico in fighting drug-trafficking and organized crime in any way Mexico’s government deems appropriate.

He recommitted the U.S. to fighting the demand for illegal drugs and the flow of illegal guns across the border with Mexico even as the southern neighbor rethinks how much access it gives to U.S. security agencies.

“I agreed to continue our close cooperation on security, even as the nature of that cooperation will evolve,” Obama said at a joint news conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. “It is obviously up to the Mexican people to determine their security structures and how it engages with other nations — including the United States.”

Obama’s remarks come as Pina Nieto, in a dramatic shift from his predecessor, has moved to end the widespread access that U.S. security agencies have had in Mexico to help fight drug-trafficking and organized crime. The White House has been cautious in its public response to the changes, with the president and his advisers saying they need to hear directly from the Mexican leader before making a judgment about the new arrangement.

Pina Nieto, speaking at the news conference in Spanish, downplayed the notion that the new arrangement would mean less close cooperation with the United States. “There is no clash between these two goals,” he said.

He said Obama had said the U.S. will “cooperate on the basis of mutual respect” to promote an efficient security strategy.

The two leaders met Thursday at Mexico’s National Palace on the first day of Obama’s three-day trip to Mexico and Costa Rica.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.