Speaking at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mexico City on Friday, Vice President Joe Biden said that the international partnerships he and President Barack Obama are seeking to build–including one between the United States and Mexico–are “literally going to shape the future for my country for the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years.”
Part of that future, Biden said, should involve letting “undocumented” people “out of the shadows” in the United States—terminology the administration and others have used to describe a policy that would legalize illegal aliens and allow them to eventually become U.S. citizens.
“With regard to immigration, let me make two things absolutely clear,” Biden said in Mexico City. “It is not only from the perspective of the President, myself and the American people a matter of justice, respect, and according dignity to all people to bring 11 million undocumented men, women, and children out of the shadows, but it’s also overwhelmingly in the self-interest, the economic self-interest of the United States.”
“So I want to make it clear to you that President Obama is deeply invested in the maturation of this relationship at every level–at every level,” said Biden. “This is a different day. This is a different day.
“I wanted to be here with you because my country’s foreign policy is about more than dealing with threats, as we are dealing with in the Middle East,” said Biden. “It’s also about partnerships–partnerships that we believe, the President and I, are literally going to shape the future for my country for the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years.
“And there is no reason–there is absolutely no reason in my view–some of you know I’ve held this view for some time, but I think everyone thinks it now–there is no reason why our partnership, the U.S.-Mexico partnership, should not be among the strongest that we have,” said Biden. “We are grounded in a common border, a common culture, common values, common dreams and common potential.”
Biden warned that it was crucial to “seize the opportunity” of moving forward on this partnership now.
“Together we have a chance to make progress on modernizing our border, linking our aviation sectors, increasing economic transparency,” said Biden.
“On our side that’s going to require extending, for example–to move more rapidly across the border extending business hours at border crossings, basic simple things,” said Biden. “For Mexico it’s going to demand greater effort to connect our roads, our rails, our infrastructure. It just makes no sense that we don’t.”