George W. Bush photo

Remarks at a Luncheon Hosted by President Felipe de Jesus Calderon Hinojosa of Mexico in Merida, Mexico

March 13, 2007

Senor Presidente, thank you very much for your gracious hospitality. I think you picked a perfect place to invite Laura and me and our delegation. It's a beautiful land. It is a spectacular day. And our meetings were constructive. Thank you, First Lady, for your hospitality as well.

Relations between Mexico and the United States are muy importante. We've got a great history. We've got a strong tradition of working together. And my job,Mr. President, is to do all I can to work with you to advance progress on both sides of the border.

There are issues, of course, issues that we discussed today and will continue to discuss in a manner of respect and dignity. Perhaps the biggest issue concerning your country is the issue of migration. America is a country of law; we'll respect law. But America is also a hospitable country, a country that recognizes the value of each human being. And as the President of your grand country, I know you're deeply concerned about how your citizens are treated within our country. And my pledge to you and the people of Mexico is, they'll be treated with respect and dignity.

The best way to do that is to pass a migration law that upholds the values of America and, at the same time, allows us to respect the rule of law. As I told you in private, as you expressed your deep concerns about whether or not America can pass such a law, that I will use all the efforts I can, working with both Republicans and Democrats, to pass such a piece of legislation.

We spent a lot of time talking about Mexico's important role in the world, and I thank you for your leadership, Mr. President. You're President of a great country. You will use your influence to foster social justice and prosperity and peace. I look forward to your leadership on such issues; I look forward to helping you as best I can, as best as you request to do so.

And I, too, would like to offer a toast. I'd like to offer a toast to the great people of a great country, nuestro amigo, Mexico, and to your salud, Mr. President.

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:45 p.m. at Hacienda Temozon. In his remarks, he referred to Margarita Esther Zavala Gomez del Campo, wife of President Calderon. The transcript released by the Office of the Press Secretary also included the remarks of President Calderon.

George W. Bush, Remarks at a Luncheon Hosted by President Felipe de Jesus Calderon Hinojosa of Mexico in Merida, Mexico Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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