Mexican President Joins Obama in Calling for ‘Comprehensive’ Reform Legalizing Illegal Aliens in U.S.

By Fred Lucas | March 4, 2011 | 4:08 PM EST

President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

( - Mexican President Felipe Calderon yesterday joined President Barack Obama in calling for “comprehensive” immigration reform, a term used to describe reform that includes granted legal status to illegal aliens in the United States.

“We have also discussed immigration, an issue on which both countries have responsibilities,” Obama said, standing next to Calderon during a White House joint news conference.

“As I told President Calderón, I remain deeply committed to fixing our broken immigration system with comprehensive reform that continues to secure our borders, enforces our laws--including against businesses that break the law--and requiring accountability from undocumented workers,” Obama said. “And we have to conduct this debate in a way that upholds our values as a nation of both laws and immigrants. So I’m eager to work with Republicans and Democrats to get this reform done, which is vital to the U.S. economy.”

Obama has long supported a “comprehensive immigration reform” that supporters call a “pathway to citizenship” for illegal aliens and opponents call “amnesty.” But such legislation--backed by the immigration lobby and some pro-business organizations--was defeated in Congress during 2005 and 2007, and was deeply unpopular with the public.

Nevertheless, Calderon said he supports Obama’s desire to see such legislation pass.

“President Obama has always recognized, invariably recognized, the contributions of immigrants to the economy and society of the United States, and I recognize and value his clear and determined support for the adoption of a comprehensive migratory reform in this country, as well as his firm commitment to the human and civil rights of communities, regardless of their point of origin,” Calderon said. “I've expressed to him my concern for the proliferation of local initiatives that are against the interests or the rights of immigrant communities.”