Sunday, June 17, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: A fair way to right immigration wrong

In voting to allow Jose Godinez-Samperio to qualify as a lawyer, the Florida Senate has taken a stand against the nation's irrational and shortsighted immigration policies. Now the House needs to agree this week, and Gov. Rick Scott needs to sign this fix into law. The Senate should also find a way to be as farsighted and let Florida high school graduates brought here illegally by their parents years ago to qualify for in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.

Godinez-Samperio, 27, is a prime example of how immigration policies can ultimately undermine the country's own interests. Floridians already have invested heavily in Godinez-Samperio, who arrived here at age 9 when his parents illegally immigrated from Mexico. The Eagle Scout and high school valedictorian attended public schools and universities, received a law degree from Florida State University and passed the Florida Bar exam. He is here legally, obtained a federal tax ID and has a Social Security card. He falls under President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, which enables younger undocumented immigrants to remain here legally for a two-year period that can be renewed. But as a paralegal in Clearwater, he contributes far less to the tax base and the legal profession than he could as an attorney.

A sympathetic Florida Supreme Court concluded it could not help, citing federal law that bars undocumented immigrants from obtaining such "public benefits" as a professional license unless the state carves out an exemption. That's what California did earlier this year and what Florida would do under an amendment to HB 755, which the Senate passed Friday and sent to the House.

The House, under Speaker Will Weatherford, has already shown leadership by voting to let children who are raised in Florida but were brought here illegally by their parents years ago to qualify for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities. The Senate, which has so far refused to hear that proposal, should reconsider for the same reasons the chamber embraced the fix for Godinez-Samperio. It makes no sense to thwart the talent of Florida's ambitious young immigrants who, against all odds, have managed to excel and contribute to our communities.

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Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

The new grass-roots effort to put a transportation package before Hillsborough County voters in November faces a tough slog. Voters rejected a similar effort in 2010, and another in 2016 by elected officials never made it from the gate. But the lates...
Published: 06/15/18
Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Forty years ago today, Nelson Poynter died. He was the last individual to own this newspaper, and to keep the Times connected to this community, he did something remarkable. He gave it away.In his last years, Mr. Poynter recognized that sooner or lat...
Published: 06/15/18

There was no FBI anti-Trump conspiracy

The Justice Department released Thursday the highly anticipated report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe and other sensitive issues in the 2016 election. It is not the report President Donald Trump wanted. But there is enough i...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Voter purge may be legal, but it’s also suppression

The Supreme Court’s ruling last Monday to allow Ohio’s purging of its voter rolls is difficult to dispute legally. While federal law prohibits removing citizens from voter rolls simply because they haven’t voted, Ohio’s purge is slightly different. T...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Editorial: Free rides will serve as a test of whether the streetcar is serious transportation

Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to ride for free?This fall, the TECO Streetcar Line eliminates its $2.50-a-ride-fare, providing the best opportunity yet to see whether the system’s vintage streetcar replicas can serve as a legitimate transportation a...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

AT&T and the case for digital innovation

A good way to guarantee you’ll be wrong about something is to predict the future of technology. As in, "One day, we’ll all …" Experts can hazard guesses about artificial intelligence, driverless cars or the death of cable television, but technologica...
Published: 06/14/18
Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

The Florida Department of Children and Families has correctly set a quick deadline for Hillsborough County’s main child welfare provider to correct its foster care program. For too long the same story has played out, where troubled teens who need fos...
Published: 06/14/18
Editorial: Educate voters on Amendment 4 and restoring felons’ rights

Editorial: Educate voters on Amendment 4 and restoring felons’ rights

This fall voters will have 13 constitutional amendments to wade through on the ballot, but Amendment 4 should get special focus. It represents a rare opportunity to rectify a grievous provision in the Florida Constitution, which permanently revokes t...
Published: 06/13/18
Updated: 06/14/18
Editorial: How Florida and the Trump administration are tampering with your health care

Editorial: How Florida and the Trump administration are tampering with your health care

The Trump administration just can’t stop sabotaging Americans’ access to health care. Instead of giving up after it failed to persuade Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it continues to quietly undermine the law in ways that would reduce acc...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Editorial: Parkland students set example for advocacy

Music is healing. Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Senior High School put that theory on display Sunday night in New York with their stirring performance at the Tony Awards — beautifully.The students, all from the school’s drama department, bro...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18