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Mexican Image of US Improves

As U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to visit Mexico this week, a new survey shows that Mexicans have an increasingly favorable opinion of the United States.

A survey by the Pew Research Center finds that 66 percent of Mexicans have a positive view of the United States. That is up from 56 percent a year ago and much higher than in 2010, when favorable Mexican attitudes towards the United States were only at 44 percent.

On the topic of immigration, the survey finds that Mexicans are divided on whether immigration to the United States is good or bad for their country. Forty-four percent say it is good for Mexico while an equal amount say it is bad.

More than 60 percent of Mexicans say they would not move the United States even if they had the opportunity to do so, while 35 percent say they would move if they could.

More than 11 million Mexicans live in the United States, including about six million who are in the country illegally.

On the topic of drugs and crime, the survey shows that an overwhelming 85 percent of Mexicans support the use of the Mexican army to fight drug traffickers. However, only 37 percent of respondents say their government is making progress in its campaign against drug traffickers.

President Obama had hoped to go to Mexico this week touting new gun-control laws aimed in part at reducing the flow of firearms that could end up in Mexico's drug cartels. However, gun reform proposals stalled in Congress earlier this month.

Another issue being discussed in the U.S. Congress is immigration. A bipartisan immigration reform bill was recently unveiled in the Senate and President Obama has said overhauling America's immigration system is a priority for his administration.