A Community Visit by Mexican President Calderon

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -  On Saturday, June 11th, Mexican President Felipe Calderon made a rare appearance in the San Francisco Bay Area at a special town hall “Encuentro con la comunidad mexicana” with nearly 600 immigrant laborers, grassroots organizers, farm workers and other non-political compatriots from six Monterey and Bay Area counties.

The meeting took place at the nationally-recognized Center for Employment Training (CET) in San José; an organization that has specialized in vocational training for farm workers for over forty years and sponsors one of the most successful local Consul General’s Spanish educational programs for co-nationals.

Calderon was expected to be the keynote speaker the next day at the Stanford University 150th graduation ceremonies in Palo Alto; but Saturday’s event was kept very quiet and few knew it was being planned.

Last minute changes and the guest list were completed literally after the midnight hour and security was exceptionally tight. Clearance for the guests and media to enter that morning took nearly three hours while they waited quietly in a line outside the building.

President Calderon addressed four main topics; the socio-economic condition of Mexican nationals living in the U.S.; jobs and the economy inside Mexico; immigration; and the drug cartels and corruption.

The speech was extemporaneous and ranged from humorous and charming, to powerful and accusatory.
 
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