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Office of Media Affairs
September 5, 2001

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Remarks at Dedication of San Jose Mission, August 29, 2001

THE PRESIDENT: I'm getting ready to meet with Vicente Fox, for my first state dinner next week. As you know, we've been in Crawford, Texas, on what they call a working vacation. (Laughter.) Part of our working vacation has been to travel the nation to talk about the values of the Heartland. And one of the values of the Heartland is family and faith, and the willigness of people to help each other in need.

And those values aren't just a part of one ethnic group in America. They're a part of every ethnic group in our country. And I can't wait to share my enthusiasm about our neighbors and our relations with Mexico, with Vicente Fox. And these missions remind me about the important role that Mexico has played in the history, not only of Texas, but our nation.

And like the values of neighborliness, those values must extend beyond the Rio Bravo as well. It's important to be neighbor -- friendly neighbors with people across the street. It's important to help a neighbor in need in America. But it's also important to live -- understand we live in an international neighborhood. And Mexico is our neighbor. And we want Mexico to prosper. We want our neighbor to do well.

If you're in a neighborhood, don't you want all the neighborhoods -- the neighbors to be successful? I do. And we want Mexico to be a successful country. And so we're -- as we say in Texas, we're pulling for President Fox to succeed. We want the marketplace to take hold. We want people to find work close to home.

But we understand that if you can make a living in America, and you can't find a job in Mexico, family values don't stop at the southern border. People who share a desire to provide for their families, that exists all across the country and in our hemisphere. And so people are coming to work to provide food for their families. And that's why we want Mexico to succeed. It's in our national interest. It's in our national interest that relations are strong with our neighbor. Those are values that are important, not only at home, but internationally. And so I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm about our relationship with our neighbor to our south.

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