Mexican President Visits Chicago

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Mexican president, Felipe Calderon talked about unity in his message and had agreements with Governor Rod Blogojavich and Mayor Richard Daley to create a teacher exchange and a job certification program.

Moline’s Casa Guanajuato members Karla Steele (president), Nancy Perkins, Eva Savala, and Jose Luis Lopez attended the event as invited guests.

For Jose Luis Lopez, he liked the mariachi and that the president pledged that money made from the Mexican consulates matriculates and passports would stay in the consulate. “The president emphasized that the people are here to work,” he said.

Stella Schneekloth said that the Mexican president mentioned that he did not forget about the people here. The president also showed up late but apologized to the group that saw him in Chicago.

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 “To have the president apologize to constituents showed he had high respect,” she said.

The Chicago Sun Times said a mariachi band played to the chants of “Felipe, Felipe” at the invitation only crowd at the Little Village Lawndale High School gym. Calderon defended that Mexican immigrants are vital towards the U.S. economy.

He said that the Mexican government will work hard to secure more safe, orderly, and legal immigration to the United States. Advocating for a strong border was not a problem for Calderon, blaming crime for the problems with the border, not the people themselves.

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Calderon talked about his duty as president so that in the future the option for his people so that in the future, immigration is not the only choice. “Those who are gone, we miss strongly,” he said in a quote by Chicago’s La Raza newspaper.

As for Mexico itself, Calderon said the lay being applied, better security for citizens, a more competitive economy, and politics that benefit the people’s conditions were some of his successful accomplishments.

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The meeting only lasted a half hour but he hoped to some day see his nation with a strong enough economy, so that “we can meet again.”

To the Mexican community in the United States, Calderon said that they are not forgotten and concluded, “Our families pray hard and hard each day for you each day, your loved ones, that are always present, but that many time have not been able to meet again for reasons, we all know about.”

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In Calderon’s meeting with Governor Blagojavich, the two agreed to a teacher exchange program where teachers from Mexico would come to teach through a visiting program.

The two signed a partnership agreement to improve the schools in Illinois and Mexico. With Mayor Daley, a job certification program that would be legal in both Mexico and Chicago was encouraged but no formal agreement signed.

There was some criticism as the meeting was invitation only. Some supporters of the rival, Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) as well as others protested outside the school. Others complained about the Mexican consulate in Chicago’s lack of resources. An alternate consulate was even built next to the actual one by groups against the president.

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