President Obama in a Cabinet meeting. (Photo: Pete Souza, White House)
David Jackson, USA TODAY
President Obama echoed his pledge Tuesday to pursue an immigration bill in the next Congress, and welcomed the support of the incoming president of Mexico.
Obama said he would be "sharing" his plans with President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto, who will be sworn into office on Saturday.
Nieto said he and his team "fully support" Obama's proposal for an immigration that includes both tighter security at the border as well as a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are already in the United States.
"We want to contribute," Nieto said. "We want to be part of this."
Speaking to reporters before a private meeting with Nieto, Obama said he looked forward to working with the new Mexican government on economic ties, "border issues," and "regional and global issues."
Obama and aides believe the recent U.S. election gives them a better chance for new immigration legislation, in part because Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney did so poorly with Hispanic voters.
Republicans have insisted on a security-only bill but may more amenable to a pathway to citizenship rules in an effort to build support with Hispanics.