President Obama’s message to not so much mark the 1862 victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla, but to hail himself as a conquering hero of Mexican politics (and pitch immigration reform):
Today we honor the victory of the Mexican people in their fight for freedom at the Battle of Puebla 151 years ago. On Cinco de Mayo we celebrate the contributions and heritage of Mexican Americans and we recognize the strong cultural, familial, and economic ties that bind the United States and Mexico.
This week, I was proud to visit Mexico to reaffirm our vision for the Americas as a region of shared opportunity and prosperity. I left even more convinced that we have historic opportunities to expand trade and make our economies even more competitive, so that we continue creating good jobs in both of our countries.
In Mexico, I also emphasized the need to pass commonsense immigration reform that lives up to our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants, including generations of Mexican Americans who have enriched our country. Fixing our immigration system is one of my top legislative priorities and I am hopeful that we can make immigration reform a reality this year.
Cinco de mayo reminds us that America’s diversity is America’s strength. Today, as we celebrate the contributions and history of Mexican Americans and Hispanics in America, let us celebrate the larger story of America and our unique immigrant heritage.