This will be Calderon's first visit to the United States since his presidency began in 2006, but he will not be meeting with George W. Bush. He will also not be meeting with any of the presidential candidates, whose campaigns are strongly focusing on the issue of illegal immigration and how the United States is handling the high number of illegal immigrants. There are millions of illegal immigrants and five million of those are estimated to be Mexicans. Due to not meeting with the president or presidential candidates, Calderon will not be addressing proposal by various candidates to build a wall along the 1,600 mile border that the United States and Mexico Share.
Instead, the Mexican president will be traveling to Los Angeles, Sacramento, New York, Chicago, and Boston to meet with expatriate Mexican financial and academic sector figures as well as community leaders. His meetings will also be with Mexican immigrants and local officials in the cities he is visiting.
Calderon has publicly stated that the growing issue regarding illegal immigrants entering the U.S. is posing a threat against the considerably close relationship that the United States and Mexico have with each other. He is concerned that the debate regarding immigration has produced an atmosphere that is anti-immigration, but that the anti-immigration attitude has also created a lot of prejudice toward Mexicans. He feels this has resulted in an anti-Mexican attitude within the U.S and feels that such a view does not benefit anyone.
However, Calderon has undergone criticism that he has not done enough to defend Mexican immigrants residing in the United States while Washington has been putting more energy into the issue of illegal immigration. Some Mexican officials within the US have complained that Calderon has been ignoring these issues, especially since a scheduled trip to the United States was cancelled in September.
These same Mexican officials have complained that Calderon has failed to make his feelings known regarding the treatment of Mexican workers. It is the tough immigration policies that have resulted in deportations and mass firings of illegal immigrants, which has led to the separating of families.
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He hopes that the next U.S. president and Congress will have a more positive and wider vision regarding the immigration issue at hand. He believes that the "harassment" of Mexicans that is being carried out in the U.S. is clearly a violation of human rights.
On Calderon's trip, he will be accompanied by both is economic and finance ministers, Eduardo Sojo and Agustin Carstens, governors of three states that are the states in which illegal immigrants have originated, and his Foreign Minister Patricia Espinoza.
When they arrive in New York, they will have meetings with New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, financier David Rockefellar, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and New York Federal Reserve president Timothy Geithner.