Obama, Calderon Put Immigration Reform on To-Do Lists

Posted May 19, 2010 at 1:26pm

President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Wednesday pledged to work from both sides of the border to bring about ripe conditions for passing comprehensive immigration reform.

Going before cameras after a private meeting at the White House, Obama said the two presidents discussed “the need for immigration that is orderly and safe, and we acknowledge that both our countries have responsibilities.”

Obama said Calderon was doing his part to create better jobs in Mexico so “more Mexicans see a future of opportunity in their country.” Obama also reaffirmed his commitment to working with Congress to pass bipartisan immigration reform that includes three key pieces: strengthened border security, accountability for employers and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

“I’m actually confident that we can get it done,” Obama said, although he gave no timeline or strategy for moving forward on the issue, which has stalled in the Senate from lack of GOP support.

“I don’t have 60 votes in the Senate. I’ve got to have some support from Republicans,” the president said. “I don’t expect to get every Republican vote, but I need some help in order to get it done.”

Calderon acknowledged “the sensitivity and the commitment” that Obama has to moving forward with a comprehensive solution that “will be respectful of the rights of the individuals and will be adjusting itself in a realistic way to the needs of both our economies.”