Washington, DC – Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-TX) attended President Calderon’s address to a joint session of Congress. After the President’s remarks, he issued the following statement:
Ranking Member Smith: “I appreciate President Calderon’s address before a joint session of Congress and this opportunity to foster improved relations between our two countries. The President has been a good partner in battling the drug cartels, though we still have more work to do.
“I am pleased that President Calderon recognized our right to enact and enforce our laws. But he is wrong to suggest that America’s immigration system is anything but generous. We admit more than one million legal immigrants each year. America welcomes more legal immigrants from Mexico than from any other country. That gives America the credibility to ask that those who want to come to America do so the right way.
“I am disapointed that President Calderon did not use this opportunity before us to talk about what more Mexico will do to discourage illegal immigration and improve conditions so that good, hardworking Mexican citizens will want to stay home instead of coming to America. The economic and tax reforms that President Calderon discussed are important, but they are not enough to curb the flow of illegal immigration.
“Instead, President Calderon continues to mischaracterize and criticize domestic policies of the United States. It is not right for the president of another country to come here and criticize our nation or our states for wanting to stop human smuggling and drug trafficking, or secure our border.
“Officials of foreign governments should not interfere in domestic American affairs.
“Contrary to President Calderon’s statements, the Arizona immigration enforcement law expressly prohibits discrimination based on race, color or national origin four separate times. If those who demagogue the Arizona immigration enforcement law would just read the 18 pages of its text, they would see for themselves that it is a reasonable, constitutional approach to securing the border – a job the Obama administration has failed to do.
“Arizona has every right to protect its residents and demand a secure border, as do all the American people.”