Fear is spreading among foreign day laborers in South Florida after Republicans won control of the House of Representatives, a move immigration activists say will make it more difficult -- if not impossible -- to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants.
``We are frightened that authorities will harden their attitude toward workers like us who need work permits,'' said Guatemalan Ramón Suárez, 33, as he waited for work in a cluster of foreign day laborers at a shopping mall on Bird Road near Florida's Turnpike.
Súarez was one of a half-dozen undocumented foreign day laborers interviewed last week who voiced alarm at the outcome of the Nov. 2 vote and the possibility of an Arizona-style immigration law in Florida in light of Rick Scott's election as governor. During the campaign Scott voiced support for an Arizona-like tough immigration enforcement law in Florida.
In the aftermath of the Republican House sweep, and an increase in the number of Republicans in the Senate, immigrant workers and immigration activists believe a path to residence and citizenship for the estimated 10.8 million undocumented immigrants is now very remote.
``I think it's dead,'' said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington think tank that supports immigration control.
Pro-legalization advocates also are pessimistic.
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