Leigh Miller for GlobalAtlanta
Gainesville and Dalton will be the sites of two U.S. House of Representatives hearings on immigration issues, Monday, Aug. 14, and Tuesday, Aug. 15.

The House Education and Workforce Committee is to hold a hearing Aug. 14 in Gainesville, focusing on the impact of illegal immigration on wages in the United States. Gainesville’s chicken processing industry is a major source of employment for the city’s growing Hispanic population.

The Energy and Commerce Committee is to have a hearing in Dalton on Aug. 15 on how illegal immigration affects medical facilities and healthcare costs for taxpayers. Dalton is a center for carpet manufacturing, an industry that employs a large number of immigrants.

The Georgia hearings are two of 19 hearings on various issues including immigration to be held in August by eight Congressional committees.

House leaders are promoting their version of an immigration reform bill passed last December. The legislation, which cracks down on businesses employing illegal immigrants and calls for strict enforcement of immigration laws, must be reconciled with a more lenient Senate measure passed in May.

Georgia representatives are largely in favor of the House version. The state passed its own immigration legislation in March that includes some of the toughest crackdown measures on immigration in the country.

Georgia has seen a more than 300 percent increase in its Hispanic population since 1990.

Whitfield County, where Dalton is located, has seen its Hispanic population increase from less than 1 percent in 1980 to 27 percent in 2004. More than 40 percent of Dalton’s population is now Hispanic. In Hall County, where Gainesville is the county seat, the Hispanic population increased from less than 1 percent to 24 percent between 1980 and 2004.

The Gainesville hearing is to take place 11 a.m. — 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 14, at the U.S. Courthouse in Gainesville. Reps. Charlie Norwood, Nathan Deal and Tom Price will participate. Mr. Norwood is the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections. Contact John Stone for more information at (202) 225-4101 or john.stone@mail.house.gov.

The Dalton hearing is to take place at 10 a.m. at the Northwest Georgia Trade Center in Dalton. For more information, call Mr. Deal’s office at (770) 535-2592.