BOISE, Idaho -

 Idaho's congressional leaders say they are optimistic that progress can be made this year on reforming the nation's immigration system.

U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador spoke about immigration reform last week during a town hall meeting in Meridian, telling the crowd lawmakers must do something about the 12 million people now living in the country illegally. Labrador says the current system is broken.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the optimism is fueled in part by a new framework for legislation released last week and developed by eight Democratic and Republican senators.

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo praised the proposal for its stance on amnesty -- an idea that has stalled previous reform efforts and Republican Sen. Jim Risch says business leaders are eager and anxious for a fix to immigration policy.