This afternoon, President Obama hosted a reception in the East Room of the White House to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and honor those who courageously fought at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The President was joined by Mexico’s Undersecretary Sergio Alocer, Ambassador Alejandro Estivill and special musical guests from the Esperanza Azteca Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and Puebla.
The Esperanza Azteca Youth Orchestra provides children ages 5-18 the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument, while also offering a positive space for them to learn and become creative individuals. For many of the students of Los Angeles, this was their concert debut. Their performance exemplified the strong cultural ties and unique partnership between the U.S. and Mexico that the President highlighted in his remarks.
President Obama emphasized that Cinco de Mayo gives us the opportunity to remember “how deeply Mexican-American culture is woven into the fabric of this country.” The President noted that people of Mexican descent have especially influenced U.S. commerce, culture, literature, and of course, food.
Moreover, the President reaffirmed his commitment to fixing our broken immigration system. It is why he took actions, within his legal authority to make our immigration system smarter and fairer. Furthermore, it is why Congress needs to step up and pass commonsense immigration reform. The President ended his remarks with a quote from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”
Read the President's full remarks HERE.