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Mexican president calls border wall with United States "offensive"

Mexican president calls border wall with United States "offensive"

Mexico's president said on Friday the building of a fence along the border with the United States was "offensive" to the relationship between the two countries, and he hoped to convince the U.S. that Mexican labor had been good for the American economy.
"My goal is to win the debate about immigration within America," Felipe Calderon said in remarks at the World Economic Forum. "I want to make American public opinion understand the value that Mexican labor has had in the growth of their economy."
The Mexican leader said there was no way to completely stop immigration between the two countries without solving the fundamental realities that drive Mexicans to seek better economic opportunities available in their wealthier northern neighbor.
"The American economy is rich in capital, the Mexican is rich in labor," Calderon said, adding that the problem will ease as Mexico grows. "Instead of labor crossing into the United States, we can have investment crossing into Mexico ... so that our families and our communities are no longer divided."
U.S. President George W. Bush has voiced support for immigration reform that would provide a path to citizenship for many of the millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States. But he also signed a law last year that would erect a 700-mile fence along the border.
America's newly elected Democrat Congress has also made immigration reform one of its top goals.
Speaking to a room packed with some of the world's wealthiest CEOs, Calderon took the opportunity to sell Mexico as a place ripe for foreign investment. He pointed to a forecast by the investment bank, Goldman Sachs, which he said showed Mexico would have the world's fifth largest economy by 2040.
The Mexican leader said he wanted to eradicate the stereotype of a backward Mexico, in favor of one that showed a country that was embracing the future, and that his government was making tough decisions to fight corruption and drug trafficking.
Mexico extradited 15 drug suspects _ including four alleged kingpins _ to the United States last week, and Calderon has pledged to wage a permanent war on organized crime.
Calderon is on his first trip to Europe since taking office Dec. 1 following a close election.
At Davos, he was meeting with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and top executives from Pepsico and Nestle, among others. He was also holding talks with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the World Trade Organization's director-general, Pascal Lamy.


Updated : 2021-05-16 07:41 GMT+08:00