Good morning. Sunday is Cinco de Mayo, a day that commemorates the Mexican people's
great victory at the Battle of Puebla, a battle for freedom fought against overwhelming
odds. That victory continues to inspire liberty-loving people across the globe.
It reminds us that the cost of freedom is always high, but it is never too high.
Brave and determined people, committed to a great cause, can do great good.
That was true 140 years ago, and it remains true today.
Just before September the 11th, I welcomed my good friend, President Vicente
Fox, to the White House as the guest of honor at my first state dinner. When
he arrived I said this: The United States has no more important relationship
in the world than the one we have with Mexico. In the past eight months, our
relationship has grown even stronger. The people of Mexico stand with the American
people in the war on terror. This is a decisive decade in the history of liberty
-- and the United States is grateful we can count on Mexico's strong support.
America's relationship with Mexico is built on common values and shared culture.
We both value families and communities -- the places where character is formed
and traditions are passed from one generation to the next. Americans appreciate
the strong faith of the Mexican people -- a faith that provides hope and inspiration
and unity even in the darkest times.
People on both sides of the Rio Grande value independence and freedom, and opportunity
-- the ability to work hard to achieve your dreams and become successful as
a result. By their strong values and their determination to create a better
life for themselves and their children, immigrants from Mexico enrich American
My close relationship with President Fox reflects the close relationship between
our nations. It is built on the solid ground of respect and trust and friendship.
President Fox is a great Mexican patriot, a man of honest talk and convictions,
who is passionately concerned for his people's welfare. We are both deeply committed
to helping the entire American familia achieve prosperity and live in peace.
Mexico and America share a continent, and we are dedicated to common goals.
We are working together to create a "smart border" -- one that will
speed the safe flow of people and commerce, but protect our two nations from
terrorism and crime. We are working together on a Partnership for Prosperity,
to better focus the creativity and resources of the private sector on the critical
task of development. We are working together to address the important and challenging
immigration issues between our countries. And I've asked our Congress to pass
an extension of Section 245(i) of our immigration law to let families stay together
while they become permanent residents. We're working together to improve conditions
for people living along the border. And we're working together to create an
entire hemisphere that lives in liberty and trades in freedom.
Our two nations will succeed together because our futures are bound to each
other. Geography made us neighbors, but our shared values and rich cultures
have made us the closest of friends.
May God bless the people of Mexico, and may God bless the United States of America.