POLITICS: PennAve

Obama to travel to Mexico for North American summit

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Politics,White House,Immigration,Barack Obama,Canada,Mexico,PennAve,Meghashyam Mali,Foreign Policy

President Obama is traveling to Toluca, Mexico, on Feb. 19 for the North American Leaders summit, the White House announced on Monday.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama would be joined by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto for the trilateral meeting.

The trio will discuss “a range of issues important to the daily lives of all of North America’s people, including economic competitiveness, entrepreneurship, trade and investment, and citizen security.”

Asked about the president’s security in light of a State Department travel advisory for Americans traveling to that region of Mexico, Carney said only that “the president looks forward to his trip.”

The meetings will likely touch on trade and security ties as well as immigration.

Mexican leaders have pressed Washington to enact comprehensive immigration reform, including measures to legalize the status of nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., many from Mexico.

President Obama has called immigration reform one of his second-term priorities, but a Senate passed bipartisan bill has stalled in the House amid opposition from conservative lawmakers opposed to measures they see as “amnesty” for illegal immigrants.

The three countries are also participants in twelve-nation trade talks to create a Pacific Rim free trade zone. Negotiators failed to finalize a deal in December, but trade ministers for the participant countries have vowed to continue talks.

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