Mexico President: There is A Need for Diversity from Immigration

Image: Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto visits Los Angeles
epa04368727 Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto speaks to local businessmen at a hotel in Los Angeles, California, USA, 25 August 2014. Pena Nieto came to California on the invitation of Californian Governor Jerry Brown after the two met recently in Mexico. EPA/GUS RUELASGUS RUELAS / EPA

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Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto told a crowd of Mexican American and Mexican leaders in Los Angeles of the need for U.S. immigration reform and warned those who reject diversity and inclusion will be proven wrong.

"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."

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Peña Nieto criticized U.S. governors who have cracked down on immigrants, although not by name, saying some states "skimp on the rights of immigrants."

"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."

But Mexico, under pressure from the U.S., is cracking down too on migrants who pass through its southern border from Central America to get to the U.S.

Peña Nieto's host Gov. Jerry Brown drew a sharp contrast between California's relationship with Mexico versus when the state's voters who in 1994 approved Proposition 187, a measure curbing immigrants' access to social services. Hispanics have since become a force in California politics and the once-Republican state became heavily Democratic.

Under a law signed by Brown, immigrants will be able to get driver's licenses next year.

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