Mexican president Peña Nieto called President Obama's executive amnesty "very intelligent" and "an act of justice” in comments today in the Oval Office. He made the comments in Spanish.
Via the pool report:
Mexican President Peña Nieto and POTUS spoke at length in the Oval Office to the pool shortly after noon but did not take questions. Nieto’s comments are via an interpreter, as he spoke in Spanish.
They touched on Obama’s immigration executive action, the president's new Cuba policy, trade, and cooperation on Mexico’s security issues. Obama also said they discussed reforms the Mexican president is making in the wake of the missing college students.
On immigration, Obama thanked Nieto for helping to convey the message that his executive immigration action is for people who have been in the United States for some time, and noted his executive action would be accompanied by more aggressive border security. Nieto called the executive action “very intelligent” and “an act of justice.”
Nieto said the Mexican government would work to make it easy for Mexicans in the United States since before 2010 to obtain documents to show that they have been in the United States, as well as to obtain birth certificates without having to return to Mexico. Nieto also said that Mexico would work to make sure the action only benefits those it is intended to benefit and isn’t used by organized crime groups and human traffickers to encourage the kind of immigration "we don’t want."
Obama also thanked Nieto for taking actions to secure Mexico’s southern border to help stem the flow of unaccompanied children, and Nieto said Mexico would keep up its efforts.
Nieto repeatedly praised Obama for offering to collaborate on security, including the "clear challenge Mexico has in fighting organized crime."
On Cuba, Nieto called Obama's decision to normalize relations "audacious" and said Mexico wants to collaborate in the effort.
Obama spoke about Cuba and said that the United States would insist that human rights and other issues would be on the agenda in what he hopes will be more "constructive" policy.
The White House pool reporter added:
A couple Obama immigration quotes:
On reducing on the surge in unaccompanied children at the border, Obama said "I very much appreciate Mexico's efforts." ...
"At the southern border we've seen those numbers reduced dramatically to much more manageable levels" but both agreed on continuing to work with Central American governments on the social and economic challenges that led to the spike in unaccompanied children.
Obama also appreciated a "commitment" from Mexico to work with Obama on "sending a very clear message" regarding his executive actions on immigration.
Obama said the action will provide a "mechanism" so that families are not separated who have been here for some time, "but that we’re also going to be much more aggressive at the border in ensuring that people come through the system legally” and the “Mexican government’s been very helpful” in conveying that message.