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Obama Celebrates Cinco de Mayo at the White House

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- With the margaritas flowing and the mariachi band playing, President Obama welcomed a boisterous crowd to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the White House Monday evening.

“Bienvenidos a la Casa Blanca! This is a rowdy crowd, I can tell. They’re ready to party,” Obama joked. “The margaritas I hear are quite good. Be careful, though, they’ll sneak up on you.”

The president went on to recall the history of Cinco de Mayo and pay tribute to “our shared heritage, our shared history, our shared future” with Mexico.

“We can honor our past by building an even brighter future together,” he said, citing the Affordable Care Act and his administration’s efforts to improve access to education and pass comprehensive immigration reform, which drew huge applause.

“Opportunity for all is why I’m fighting so hard to fix a broken immigration system,” he said to cheers. “I am convinced that America’s prosperity and security depend on comprehensive, common-sense immigration reform.”

The president then urged those in attendance to join the fight. “It’s time for members of Congress, and Republicans in the House to catch up with the rest of the country,” he said. “I need all of you to go out there and mobilize particularly over the next two months — tell them to get on board … say yes to fixing our broken immigration system. Let’s get it done right now once and for all.”

Guests at the packed reception, including Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Texas, Hispanic Caucus Chairman Ruben Hinojosa, D-Texas, and Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., were treated to ceviche, guacamole and other snacks prepared by celebrity chef Jose Andres. Bars set up in the brightly decorated East Room served colorful cocktails and, of course, margaritas.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio