“Congress is now considering legislation on immigration reform,” Mr. Bush said. “That legislation must be comprehensive. All elements of the problem must be addressed together, or none of them will be solved at all.”
Attorney General Gonzalez on Friday, July 21, said:
That said, I believe we can all agree on at least one fact and one answer when it comes to immigration.
The fact is that the federal government needs to take action.
And the answer - is that there are no easy answers. And that's all right. I'm proud to support the president's proposal for immigration reform in part because it isn't an easy answer. It's a broad set of reforms that address the problem of illegal immigration from every relevant angle: security at the border, a temporary worker program, effective identification systems that will ease employer accountability, and a course of action for the millions of illegal immigrants who are already here.
Most illegal immigrants who have been living and working here a long time have been productive and otherwise law-abiding members of our society. Allowing them a chance at citizenship is fair, but it must be earned, and the price of breaking the law must be paid.
Like anything that is earned, citizenship will be especially cherished by those who work for it. For those who came here illegally, immigration reform will make the road to citizenship harder and longer, but not out of reach. Again, this is a fair and practical solution to the challenge facing all Americans, including those who seek or have already achieved citizenship legally.