Sunday, November 19, 2017
Editorials

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

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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 On Tuesday, the Trump administration rescinded the order, delighting Republicans who have taken a hard line on immigration as well as those who disapproved of Obama's end run around the legislative branch.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: Good for Tampa council member Frank Reddick to appeal for community help to solve Seminole Heights killings

As the sole black member of the Tampa City Council, Frank Reddick was moved Thursday to make a special appeal for help in solving four recent murders in the racially mixed neighborhood of Southeast Seminole Heights. "I’m pleading to my brothers. You ...
Published: 11/17/17
Editorial: It’s time to renew community’s commitment to Tampa Theatre

Editorial: It’s time to renew community’s commitment to Tampa Theatre

New attention to downtown Tampa as a place to live, work and play is transforming the area at a dizzying pace. Credit goes to recent projects, both public and private, such as the Tampa River Walk, new residential towers, a University of South Florid...
Published: 11/17/17
Editorial: Rays opening offer on stadium sounds too low

Editorial: Rays opening offer on stadium sounds too low

The Rays definitely like Ybor City, and Ybor City seems to like the Rays. So what could possibly come between this match made in baseball stadium heaven? Hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds) of millions of dollars. Rays owner Stu Sternberg told Times...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Editorial: Wage hike for contractors’ labor misguided

Editorial: Wage hike for contractors’ labor misguided

St. Petersburg City Council members are poised to raise the minimum wage for contractors who do business with the city, a well-intended but misguided ordinance that should be reconsidered. The hourly minimum wage undoubtedly needs to rise — for every...
Published: 11/16/17

Editorial: Make workplaces welcoming, not just free of harassment

A federal trial began last week in the sex discrimination case that a former firefighter lodged against the city of Tampa. Tanja Vidovic describes a locker-room culture at Tampa Fire Rescue that created a two-tier system — one for men, another for wo...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Editorial: Firing a critic of his handling of the sewer crisis is a bad early step in Kriseman’s new term

Editorial: Firing a critic of his handling of the sewer crisis is a bad early step in Kriseman’s new term

Barely a week after St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman promised to unite the city following a bitter and divisive campaign, his administration has fired an employee who dared to criticize him. It seems Kriseman’s own mantra of "moving St. Pete forwar...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17
Editorial: USF’s billion-dollar moment

Editorial: USF’s billion-dollar moment

The University of South Florida recently surpassed its $1 billion fundraising goal, continuing a current trend of exceeding expectations. At 61 years old — barely middle age among higher education institutions — USF has grown up quickly. It now boast...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Editorial: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits

Editorial: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits

American military members hurt in service to their country should not have to wait a lifetime for the benefits they deserve. But that’s a reality of the disability process at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which hasn’t made payi...
Published: 11/14/17

Editorial: Deputies’ rescue reflects best in law enforcement

The bravery two Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies showed a week ago is a credit to them and reflects the professionalism of the office.Deputies Benjamin Thompson and Trent Migues responded at dusk Nov. 11 after 82-year-old Leona Evans of Webster...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Another voice: An untrustworthy deal with Russia

President Donald Trump’s latest defense of Russian leader Vladimir Putin included — along with a bow to his denials of meddling in the U.S. election — an appeal to pragmatism. "Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing,"...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/14/17