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After the hearing, Steven A. Camarota, of the Center on Immigration Studies, said that it is hard to justify the idea that the country has a “terrible shortage of unskilled workers at the bottom end of the labor market.”

“America right now has 25 million native-born people who have no education beyond high school and who are not working,” Mr. Camarota said.

But Frank Sharry, founder and executive director of America’s Voice, a pro-immigration group, described the hearing as a “pretty transparent attempt to pit African-American workers against Latino workers, and I think it failed.”

“It was like Lamar [Smith] and company threw a fat pitch down the middle of the plate, and Democrats hit it out of the park,” Mr. Sharry said.