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President Obama's Remarks to the People of Mexico, May 2013

Speaker: Barack Obama
Published May 3, 2013

President Obama gave a speech at the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City on May 3, 2013. He discussed the five points he and President Nieto covered during their bilateral talks.

Excerpt from his remarks:

"And so given that is Americas heritage, given that we share a border with Mexico, given ties that run back generations, it is critical that the United States recognize the need to reform our immigration system -- (applause) -- because we are a nation of laws, but we're also a nation of immigrants. Like every nation we have a responsibility to ensure that our laws are upheld. But we also know that, as a nation of immigrants, the immigration system we have in the United States right now doesn't reflect our values. It separates families when we should be reuniting them. It's led to millions of people to live in the shadows. It deprives us of the talents of so many young people -- even though we know that immigrants have always been the engine of our economy, starting some of our greatest companies and pioneering new industries.

That's one of the reasons I acted to lift the shadow of deportation from what we call the DREAMers -- young people brought to the United States as children. (Applause.) And that's why I'm working with our Congress to pass common-sense immigration reform this year. (Applause.) I'm convinced we can get it done. Reform that continues to strengthen border security and strengthen legal immigration, so citizens don't have to wait years to bring their families to the United States. Reform that holds everyone accountable -- so immigrants get on the right side of the law and so immigrants are not exploited and abused. And most of all, reform that gives millions of undocumented individuals a pathway to earn their citizenship. And I'm optimistic that -- after years of trying -- we are going to get it done this year. I'm absolutely convinced of it. (Applause.)

Obviously, we're going to have to work with the Mexican government to make sure that we've got a well-regulated border. But I also want to work with the Mexican government because I believe that the long-term solution to the challenge of illegal immigration is a growing and prosperous Mexico that creates more jobs and opportunities for young people here.

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