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The Times takes a look at whether Latinos are migrating out of Hall County, either to return to their country of origin or just to another Southern city to find a better life. We talked not only with members of the Latino community, but those who work alongside and serve that community to find out.

Are Latinos leaving? Evidence shows numbers shrinking: Not only Latinos themselves, but those who interact with the community don't hesitate to say that Latinos have left Hall County in recent months.
VIDEO: Hall County Sheriff's Col. Jeff Strickland talks about the changes the department has seen after implementing the local-federal immigration enforcement program known as 287(g).
VIDEO: Jose Luis Diaz, a taxi owner, talks about why he thinks Latinos are leaving Hall County.

Health providers record mixed data on patients: Some who provide health care to Latinos say the numbers may be shrinking.

Latino churches experience an exodus of their members: Leaders of local Hispanics churches say their congregations are getting smaller.
AUDIO: Pastor Lemuel Betancourt of Centro Evangelistico talks about how the economy and tougher immigration law is affecting families at his church on 17 Second St. between Atlanta Highway and Memorial Park Drive.
VIDEO: Father Fabio Sotelo, pastor of St. Michael Catholic Church in Gainesville, talks about Latino families leaving the area and immigration effects on the church's ministry efforts.

Latino college students fear deportation: Local schools are noticing a difference in enrollment of Hispanic students, especially in programs targeted at those who don't speak English.
AUDIO: Lilliam, 19, a Gainesville State College student, describes her experience in jail as an undocumented resident.

Court system changes mean faster pleas for immigration detainees: Hall County has made changes in its court system since the implementation of 287(g).
VIDEO: Hall County Sheriff's Office Col. Jeff Strickland talks about the arrangement with the local court system for taking guilty pleas from 287(g) detainees and other inmates at the Hall County Jail.

On the Issues: Hands off an untouchable issue: Immigration may not one of the main topics being discussed by presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama, but it's still an important issue to many.
AUDIO: U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal talks about the issue — and the politics — of immigration.

A shrinking population: If Latinos are leaving, where are they going? Most agree that Latinos seem to be leaving Hall County, but why? And where are they going?
VIDEO: Noe Covarrubias, manager of Carniceria Tapatia on Browns Bridge Road, talks about the effects of the 287(g) program on the local Latino population.
AUDIO: Douglas C. Bachtel, a demographer with the University of Georgia, talks about migration and factors that could lead Latinos to leave an area.

Fewer Latinos buying cars, renting homes: Many car dealers, especially those located on Atlanta Highway, deep in the Latino community, are finding it more difficult to sell used cars.

Rules for proving legal status can be tricky for employers: What steps do businesses have to take to verify whether their employees are legal to work in the United States?




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