January 6, 2015
1/6/2015 Bloomberg Business
President Barack Obama promised Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto help in the fight against drug cartels and said the U.S. will keep pressing to expand democracy and human rights in Latin America, including Cuba.
The two leaders also discussed cross-border immigration and boosting trade and economic growth in both countries during Pena Nieto’s first visit to Washington since 2012.
The kidnapping and alleged killing of 43 students by a cartel working with local police in a southern Mexico town, was at the center of talks about Mexico’s security situation. Obama said the administration has been following the events.
“Our commitment is to be a friend and partner with Mexico in its efforts to eliminate the scourge of violence and drug cartels,” Obama told reporters following his meeting with Pena Nieto in the Oval Office.
January 6, 2015
1/6/2015 Al Jazeera America
Mexico Institute Director Duncan Wood discusses the Mexican president’s visit to the United States in this interview on Al Jazeera America.
To watch, click here.
January 6, 2015
1/6/2015 The Hill
By Duncan Wood, Mexico Institute Director
What a difference a year makes. 12 months ago Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was the darling of international observers, having negotiated a landmark energy reform through the nation’s Congress, capping off an extraordinary year of constitutional (and other) reforms. Although economic growth had been sluggish, it was expected that it would take off with higher government spending, increased consumer confidence and renewed export growth to the United States. On the security front a number of successes had been achieved, with the arrest or elimination of high ranking organized crime leaders and a falling homicide rate. Early in 2014, of course, the Peña Nieto administration was able to celebrate the capture of the most notorious of all cartel leaders, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
Since then, however, there has been a steady stream of bad news out of Mexico. Economic growth has continued to disappoint, hitting only 2.3 percent over the year, despite rising fiscal revenues and the successful passage of implementing legislation for the energy reform in August. But the administration’s biggest disappointments have to do with the rule of law. Despite the capture of Guzman and a number of other big names during the year, the government faced a breakdown of law and order in the western state of Michoacan, a worsening violence problem in the border state of Tamaulipas, the massacre of 22 suspected organized crime members in Tlatlaya in the state of Mexico and the disappearance (and suspected murder) of 43 students in Ayotzinapa in the south-western state of Guerrero.
January 6, 2015
President Barack Obama wants to enlist Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in pressuring Cuba to move toward democracy now that the U.S. is opening the relationship.
Cuba will be among the topics of discussion when Pena Nieto arrives Tuesday for his first White House meeting with Obama since taking office, along with Mexico’s security situation and U.S. immigration law, according to an administration official.
Obama is seeking to leverage Mexico’s longstanding ties to Cuba as the U.S. seeks to end more than a half-century of estrangement from the island nation 90 miles (145 kilometers) off the coast of Florida, according to the official, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity to preview the talks.
January 5, 2015
By Christopher Wilson
Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto arrives in Washington today looking for a boost in the midst of the toughest months of his presidency. To make the visit a successful one, President Peña ought to support undocumented Mexican citizens in the United States that are eligible to apply for deferred action through President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration, redouble U.S.-Mexico cooperation to strengthen Mexico’s law enforcement institutions, and continue to push for increased U.S.-Mexican cooperation on issues related to trade and manufacturing. Without tangible outcomes on these important issues, the visit could look like more of a distraction from Mexico’s troubles than part of a solution to them.
July 10, 2014
President Barack Obama called on Congress to swiftly approve nearly $4 billion in supplemental funding to deal with the influx of unaccompanied minors at the Southwest border Wednesday, saying lawmakers need to set aside politics to solve the problem.
“Are we more interested in politics, or are we more interested in solving the problem,” Obama said in statement late in the day after a meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry and local faith leaders in Dallas to deal with the months-long crisis.
April 7, 2014
NY Times, 4/5/14
If President Obama means what he says about wanting an immigration system that reflects American values, helps the economy and taps the yearnings of millions of Americans-in-waiting, he is going to have to do something about it — soon and on his own. It has been frustrating to watch his yes-we-can promises on immigration reform fade to protestations of impotence and the blaming of others. All Mr. Obama has been saying lately is: No, in fact, we can’t, because Republicans and the law won’t let me.
Mr. Obama is correct when he complains that long-term immigration repairs have been throttled in Congress. Neo-nativist Republicans fixated on mass deportation have blocked a worthy bipartisan bill. But Mr. Obama has compounded this failure by clinging to a coldblooded strategy of ramped-up enforcement on the same people he has promised to help through legislation that he has failed to achieve.
With nearly two million removals in the last five years, the Obama administration is deporting people at a faster pace than has taken place under any other president. This enormously costly effort was meant to win Republican support for broader reform. But all it has done is add to the burden of fear, family disruption and lack of opportunity faced by 11 million people who cannot get right with the law. Because of Mr. Obama’s enforcement blitz, more than 5,000 children have ended up in foster care.