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House immigration panel hears from employers

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina lawmakers considering the state's response to illegal immigration are hearing from representatives of businesses that have often hired cheap labor.

The House Select Committee on the State's Role in Immigration Policy is sorting through the hot-button issue in this election year. The committee hears Wednesday from representatives of the home building, construction and farming industries.

It's the legislative committee's third meeting since it was created last year.

Critics complain that it hasn't yet invited input from immigrant advocates.

The Pew Hispanic Center estimates North Carolina ranks ninth in population among the states with what it calls 325,000 unauthorized immigrants, defined as foreign-born citizens of other countries who aren't legal immigrants.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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