Page last updated at 10:03 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 11:03 UK

Mexico's Calderon set for key talks with Barack Obama

Felipe Calderon on 15 May 2010
Mr Calderon will be attending a state dinner in his honour on Wednesday

Mexican President Felipe Calderon is in the US for a state visit with illegal immigration high on the agenda.

Mr Calderon is expected to argue for immigration reform in the US, where there are an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, many from Mexico.

The Mexican president has been highly critical of a controversial immigration law passed in the US state of Arizona.

Drug-related violence in Mexico is also set to figure in the talks between Mr Calderon and his host, Barack Obama.

Thorny subjects

President Calderon has praised the US administration for its recognition that many of the guns used in crimes in Mexico stem from the US.

Under President Obama, the US has also gone further in acknowledging that the continuing high demand for drugs in the US is fuelling the battles between different cartels in Mexico.

But Mr Calderon has not held back in his criticism of an Arizona law which requires police to question anyone they suspect may be in the country illegally.

The Mexican president called it backward and issued a travel warning for the US state. He is under pressure from some Mexican lawmakers to cut off commercial ties with Arizona.

President Obama has also been critical of the law, which is due to come into effect in July, and is considering challenging it in court.

But he is unlikely to want to raise the issue at the meeting, correspondents say.

Instead, he is expected to address border security, a sore topic for the US after three people linked to the US consulate in Ciudad Juarez were shot dead in March.

The two leaders will also discuss climate change and strengthening trade links, topics they broadly agree on and are likely to announce a number of initiatives on.

On Thursday, Mr Calderon will address a joint session of Congress.

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