Friday, July 20, 2018
Editorials

Another voice: Do right, Congress, and make Dreamers legal

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program isn't lost yet. Members of Congress can save it by doing what once was commonplace — working across the aisle to advance common interests. The fate of about 800,000 immigrants — brought here as children by their undocumented parents — is ample inspiration for bipartisanship.

When Congress failed to legislate DACA, President Barack Obama created the program in 2012 by executive order. On Tuesday, the Trump administration rescinded the order, delighting Republicans who have taken a hard line on immigration as well as those who disapproved of Obama's end run around the legislative branch.

But these aren't the border scofflaws Americans love to hate. DACA protects young immigrants, known as the Dreamers, who enjoy much public sympathy. They're here through no action of their own. America is the only home many of them ever have known, and they have become acculturated to the American way. Many are in the military or in college, learning the knowledge and skills the American economy demands.

While immigration remains a national flashpoint — and there's no shame in any nation wanting to control its borders — protecting the Dreamers would be in keeping with American immigration history. The nation has taken a practical approach to immigration, welcoming immigrants because we needed them. Irish immigrants helped to build the Erie Canal, while those from eastern and southern Europe worked in the mines and mills. During the Bracero Program, in place from 1942 to 1964, millions of Mexican agricultural workers from Mexico traveled to America to meet labor shortages.

Now, there's sound basis for suggesting that America needs the Dreamers, too, and that deporting them would be cutting off our nose to spite our face, given the resources the nation already has invested in them.

Some parts of the country face dire shortages of workers. Why couldn't the Dreamers fill some of these slots?

Some Republican congressmen realize the Dreamers' special status — House Speaker Paul Ryan was among those who wanted Trump to keep DACA intact — and they now have the opportunity to rally support within their party or work with Democrats to save the program through legislation. Additional border security measures may be part of the deal.

Trump, an immigration hard-liner who has had kind words for the Dreamers, has given Congress six months to act. That's plenty of time to get the job done.

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Editorial: Scott should order investigation of concealed weapons permitting

Editorial: Scott should order investigation of concealed weapons permitting

To his credit, Gov. Rick Scott says he is considering requests to order an independent investigation of how Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s office screens applications for concealed weapon permits. It’s a reasonable request, and the governor h...
Published: 07/18/18
Editorial: Algae blooms, toll woes and beach battles -- Florida’s fouled up summer

Editorial: Algae blooms, toll woes and beach battles -- Florida’s fouled up summer

July in Florida. The height of summer tourist season. Rental cars clog the highways and tourists crowd the beaches, motels and all-you-can-eat shrimp joints. Many of our neighbors are off to North Carolina or somewhere cooler. So it’s an awfully inco...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Editorial: Sacrificing two kayaks and a Toyota for free speech

Editorial: Sacrificing two kayaks and a Toyota for free speech

Maggy Hurchalla joked this spring that all she could offer a billionaire who won a $4.4 million judgment against her after she exercised her free speech rights were "two kayaks and an aging Toyota.’’ The billionaire didn’t laugh. This week, Martin Co...
Published: 07/17/18
Updated: 07/18/18
Editorial: Trump sides with Putin over America

Editorial: Trump sides with Putin over America

In one of the most surreal news conferences of our time, President Donald Trump actually stood next to Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday and called the federal investigation into Russia’s meddling into the 2016 election "a disaster for our coun...
Published: 07/16/18
Editorial: A vote for preserving waterfront parks by St. Petersburg City Council

Editorial: A vote for preserving waterfront parks by St. Petersburg City Council

The St. Petersburg City Council made the appropriate but difficult decision to reject a contract with renowned artist Janet Echelman for one of her aerial sculptures. It would be wonderful for the city to have one of her signature works, but Spa Beac...
Published: 07/13/18

‘Everybody needed to know what happened’

The brutal murder of Emmett Till, a black Chicago youth, in Mississippi nearly 63 years ago went unpunished, but not forgotten. A decision by his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, to allow an open casket at Emmett’s Chicago funeral represented an act of def...
Published: 07/13/18
Editorial: Personal bias taints Florida’s clemency system

Editorial: Personal bias taints Florida’s clemency system

A recent exchange between the governor and Cabinet and a felon seeking to have his civil rights restored underscores the arbitrary unfairness of Florida’s clemency system. A long waiting period, a ridiculous backlog of cases and elected officials who...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Trump should work with Congress on immigration

Donald Trump’s resounding victory in the 2016 presidential election came at least in part because the New York businessman grasped the disconnect between how millions of Americans and the political establishments of both parties felt about immigratio...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18
Editorial: Trump’s trade war hurts American consumers

Editorial: Trump’s trade war hurts American consumers

Voters who looked to Donald Trump to make America great might want to look at their wallets. The president escalated his global trade war this week, threatening new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports — everything from seafood, beef and ...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/12/18
Editorial: Rays stadium cost should be fairly shared

Editorial: Rays stadium cost should be fairly shared

The imaginative Ybor City ballpark proposed by the Tampa Bay Rays fits nicely into the 21st century vision of a sophisticated city and would secure major league baseball’s future for the entire region. It also carries an eye-catching cost that will h...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/12/18