From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Michele Norris.

President Bush sat down today with Mexico's president, Felipe Calderon. It's the first time they have met since Calderon was sworn in last December. President Bush is on a five-day tour of Latin America, and he's been taking the opportunity to say the region is a priority for his administration.

NPR's David Greene reports now that Mr. Calderon challenge President Bush to pay more attention to Latin America.

DAVID GREENE: President Bush was joining Calderon at a restored hacienda few hours from Cancun. The Mexican leader, through an interpreter, offered Mr. Bush a warm greeting.

President FELIPE CALDERON (Mexico): (Through translator) I hope you're all welcome to Mexico. We're very pleased with your visit.

GREENE: But then, he quickly got to the point. He reminded Mr. Bush that when he came to office in 2001, he made a pledge.

President CALDERON: (Through translator) That there is no relationship all over the world that is most relevant to the United States than that one that you have with Mexico.

GREENE: Calderon said he understood the 9/11 attacks altered Mr. Bush's agenda.

Pres. CALDERON: (Through translator) Unfortunately, the terrible happenings against the United States' people made that, in a very understandable way, the priorities change.

GREENE: 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. Mr. Bush, for his part, said he's ready to work with Calderon on issues like immigration, including trying to get a bill through Congress that would give undocumented immigrants in the U.S. a shot at legal working status.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: And so, Mr. President, my pledge to you and your government, but more importantly to the people of Mexico, is I'll work as hard as I possibly can to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

GREENE: Calderon said he supports the president's efforts, but made clear he's not holding his breath. He said he plans to focus on creating better jobs in Mexico so that his people have less need to try and cross the border.

David Greene, NPR News, Merida, Mexico.

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