Mexican President Felipe Calderon will challenge Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigrants when he meets President Barack Obama this week to discuss problems like surging drug violence along the shared border.

 

Calderon will be only the second foreign leader, after India’s prime minister last November, to be received at the Obama White House with a state dinner, building on ties forged during Obama’s two official visits to

Mexico.

 

Trade between the two countries surpasses $1 billion dollars a day, with Mexico sending more than 80 percent of its exports to the United States. The U.S. government is funneling hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to help Mexico equip its security forces to fight powerful drug cartels.

 

Yet Arizona’s new law to tackle illegal immigration, called “discriminatory” and “backward” by Calderon, has strained a bilateral relationship marked by regular ups and downs.