Obama, Calderon, Harper: three amigos answer questions

So what did the three amigos talk about after all?

At the summit of North American Leaders President Barack Obama said he would push for a draft bill on comprehensive immigration reform this year. Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper wouldn't back down on requiring visas for all Mexicans traveling to Canada. Obama also defended his response to the coup in Honduras.

Here are some highlights from the joint press conference they held in Guadalajara, Mexico, Monday where reporters asked questions in Spanish and English and responses were given back in those two languages plus French.
Some of the best questions at the press conference came from my old
friend and former Chicago Tribune reporter, Ginger Thompson, who is
currently with the New York Times.

On Immigration Reform

President Barack Obama: "I would anticipate that before the year is out
we will have draft legislation along with sponsors potentially in the
House and the Senate who are ready to move this forward....This is going
to be difficult. This is going to require bi-partisan cooperation.
There are going to be demagogues out there who try to suggest that any
form of pathway for legalization for those who are already in the
United States is unacceptable. And those are fights I'd  have to have
if my poll numbers are at 70 or if my poll numbers are at 40. That's
just the nature of the U.S. immigration debate. But ultimately I think
the American people want fairness. We can create a system in which you
have strong border security, we have an orderly process for people to
come in but we're also giving an opportunity for those already in the
United States to be able to achieve a pathway to citizenship so they
don't to live in the shadows and their children and their grandchildren
can have a full participation in the United States. So I'm confident we
can get it done."

Mexico's President Felipe Calderon: "These are people who have migrated
in order to build a better future for their families. All of them or
most of them have enormously contributed to the American society and
the American economy and it is unthinkable to see that U.S., the main
economic power in the world, without the contribution of the Mexican
laborers and workers."

On Honduras

President Barack Obama: "The same critics who say that the United
States has not intervened enough in Honduras, are the same people who
say that we're always intervening and that Yankees need to get out of
Latin America. You can't have it both ways. We have been very clear in
our belief that President Zelaya was removed from office illegally,
that it was a coup, and that he should return. We have cooperated with
all the international bodies in sending that message."

On Canadian border with the United States and visas for Mexicans

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper: "We look at our border as the
line between the two closest countries on earth. We have the largest
trading relationship of any two countries on earth. But we also share
the security concerns. There is no such thing as a threat to the
security of the United States, which is not a threat to the security of
Canada. That is why Canada has been a steadfast ally of the United

Harper also addressed complaints that his country is now going to require visas of all Mexican nationals who visit Canada.

"This is not the fault of the government of Mexico - let me be very clear about this.
This is a problem in Canadian refugee law which encourages bogus claims," Harper said.

Mexico has warned as a result that it may require Canadians to seek visas when they travel to Mexico.

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