Mexico Wants its Workers Back


MEXICO CITY (AP) — President Felipe Calderon said Thursday he knows Barack Obama is committed to immigration reform, but that the best thing the American president can do — even for Mexicans — is to fix the U.S. economy.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Calderon said his pragmatism dictates that "the priority right now is to re-establish some kind of order in the economy."

"Immigration reform is a commitment of President Obama; I know that and he told me that, and it could be a very good thing to do in favor of Mexico and other nations," Calderon said in English. "But the best thing that President Obama and his government could do in favor of Mexico and the region is to solve the economic problem in the U.S."

Calderon also said Mexico and the United States need to focus on creating jobs for all of their people rather than on stopping people from crossing borders. He said the economies cannot be separated.

"The American economy has abundant capital, and the Mexican economy is abundant in labor. One is a large economy, the other is a small economy. We are sharing 3,000 kilometers of border," he said. "So it's impossible to try to stop some kind of integration between these factors of production."

Calderon said more jobs in Mexico will prevent Mexicans from heading north.

"I don't want to be a president watching, everyday, Mexican people trying to cross the border. I don't want to see in the future my country losing, everyday, the best of our people," Calderon said. "And I say the best of our people, because migrants to the U.S. are the youngest people, the bravest people, the hardest workers, and we need all of them here."

"Every single migrant to the United States is one family that is losing the father, or one family that is losing a son," he added. "We are losing leadership. We are losing courage."