President Bush and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon held their first meeting since Calderon was sworn in last December. Mr. Bush reassured Mexicans that he has not given up on overhauling U.S. immigration policy they deeply resent.
Calderon made it clear that he was ready to challenge Mr. Bush on his pledge that Latin American is a priority of his administration. Mr. Bush has made that pledge repeatedly on a five-nation tour of the region.
The two leaders met at a restored hacienda on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, a few hours from Cancun.
Speaking through an interpreter, Calderon said he understood that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks altered Mr. Bush's agenda. But now, Calderon said, it's time to retake the spirit of Mr. Bush's words.
It was an especially blunt challenge to the U.S. president. For his part, Mr. Bush said he's ready to work with Calderon on issues such as immigration — including trying to get a bill through Congress that would give undocumented immigrants in the United States a shot at legal working status.
Such legislation has eluded Mr. Bush for more than five years.
Calderon said he supports the president's efforts, but he also made it clear that he's not holding his breath. He said he plans to focus on creating better jobs in Mexico so that his people have less of a need to cross the border.