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SAN JOSE, Calif. (KCBS)- As Congress heads back to work this week from its holiday recess, one of the issues on its plate could be immigration reform.
Democrat San Jose Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren chairs the House Immigration Subcommittee and admits the system is broken, but doubts overhaul will happen before the November election.
She says deporting an estimated 12 million people here is unrealistic and that U.S. businesses depend on their labor.
“Go out to Salinas. You look at those strawberry fields and I don’t see a line of people asking for those low-paid jobs in the hot sun. Probably a majority of the farm workers in the United States are illegal immigrants,” said Lofgren.
President Obama has proposed that illegal immigrants who want to remain here agree to pay fines and back taxes. Republicans retort that with high unemployment, this is the wrong time to loosen rules on illegal immigrants.