For years, our area has seen a dramatic increase in the population of Latinos, many of them coming here illegally because of plentiful job opportunities.
But with the economy in a downturn and jobs becoming increasingly difficult to find, coupled with a stricter enforcement of immigration laws, the numbers of Latinos seem to be declining. Schools are enrolling few Latino students, medical facilities are treating fewer Latino patients and churches are seeing smaller congregations.
In a two-part special report starting Sunday, The Times and gainesvilletimes.com will examine the reasons why and what it might mean for our region.
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