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Attorney General Rebuffs Critics of President’s Immigration Plan

Amid continued debate over immigration reform, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales hopes to see an immigration bill pass through the House and Senate by the end of the year. Gonzales comments on the criticism against President Bush's immigration plan and the NSA.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    Here now to react to that reaction is the attorney general of the United States, Alberto Gonzales, who's been listening along with the rest of us.

    Where do you come down on the argument we just heard between the congresswoman and the congressman on this illegal part of the argument?

  • ALBERTO GONZALES, U.S. Attorney General:

    This is a very complicated issue. As many have said, it implicates economics; it implicates politics; it implicates security.

    You know, the president has outlined five basic principles that he thinks comprehensive immigration legislation should include. There are many, many details to be worked out. And that's what the legislative process is all about. And so we're going to have a good, healthy debate about those details.

    And I believe it's critically important that we have legislation passed this year, because we're really talking about the mass security of this country, and we can't afford to continue to wait and wait just because it's a difficult issue. It's got to be confronted head-on. It's got to be dealt with by the Congress so that we have legislation the president can sign sometime this year.

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