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Obama will pitch immigration overhaul in Mexico

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama has his domestic ambition at the top of his travel agenda as he travels to Mexico on Thursday. To sell his immigration overhaul back home, he needs a growing economy in Mexico and a Mexican president willing to help him secure the border.

Obama was to fly to Mexico City on Thursday to meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto, eager to promote Mexico's economic success and the neighboring country's place as the second largest export market for U.S. goods and services. Mexicans will be hanging on the president's words, but Obama also has in mind an important audience back in the United States.

Though the role played by Latino voters in last year's U.S. presidential election gets much credit for the current momentum for changing immigration laws and providing a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally, another reason for the change in attitudes is that stronger border protections and the recession have been disincentives to cross into the U.S. As a result, illegal immigration has declined.

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