Updated 07:47 AM EDT, Sat, Apr 10, 2021

Mexican President Speaks Out Against US Immigration Reform Policies, Calls American Governors "Unethical"

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During his first official visit to the U.S., Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has been speaking out about the need for diversity with U.S. immigration reform policies, and said those who reject diversity and inclusion when it comes to immigration reform will ultimately be "proven wrong."

On his first stop on a two-day tour of California, Nieto called the state "the other Mexico," according to the Los Angeles Times, and played up the close relationship the two had by way of the U.S. - Mexico border. He also called the state "immigrant friendly."

"We want to be a factor of cohesion, not division, with full respect for the sovereignty of the United States," Peña Nieto said Monday. "This, at the end, is about - and only about - a matter of justice for those who contribute so much to the development of the American society."

Peña Nieto also spoke out against unnamed politicians, or what he calls "unethical governors," who are cracking down on immigrants in their states.

"There are still states that have not evolved so much as California, that still skimp on recognition and, even worse, the rights of immigrants," he said. "Those who still believe and bet for the exclusion and discrimination or the rejection of diversity ... I only have one thing to say: the future, and a very near future, will demonstrate your ethical mistake. Time will show we're right."

Governor Jerry Brown also spoke alongside the Mexican President, and made an effort to highlight California's immigrant-friendly policies, despite the negative press the state has received in light of protests and backlash from residents over the immigration crisis. He was careful to avoid giving a sanitized version of Mexico and California's history, which has at points been contentious.

"It wasn't very long ago that the governor of California was outlawing driver's licenses for people who were undocumented from Mexico," Brown said. "That's not the law anymore."

Governor Brown extended the invitation to President Nieto on his visit to Mexico last month, during which nonbinding agreements on trade, education and the environment were signed between Mexico and California.

On Tuesday, Brown will host a luncheon in the president's honor in Sacramento, and Peña Nieto will address the Legislature at the state Capitol following the luncheon.

"If we can put a man on the moon, we can put a man from Mexico to California in 20 minutes," Brown said to laughter and applause.

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