On Cinco de Mayo, Obama honors ties with Mexico

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"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," Obama said.

Cinco de Mayo marks the anniversary of the Mexican Army's unlikely victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

Obama visited Mexico last week, and said in his statement he "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."

The president also used the holiday to again call for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

"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," Obama said. "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."

Vice President Joe Biden last week held a Cinco de Mayo celebration at his residence at the Naval Observatory. The Albuquerque Journal reported that New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, was in attendance. Biden was at his home in Delaware on Sunday for the actual holiday.