Saturday, April 21, 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: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Allegiant Air’s safety record remains troubling, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s reluctance to talk about it is no more encouraging. Those are the key takeaways from a 60 Minutes report on the low-cost carrier’s high rate of mid-flight brea...
Published: 04/21/18

Editorial: Women’s work undervalued in bay area

Even a strong economy and low unemployment cannot overcome the persistent pay gap affecting full-time working women in Florida. A new report shows women in Florida earned 12.5 percent less on average than their male counterparts, and the disparities ...
Published: 04/21/18
Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

For all the symbolism, Raul Castro’s handoff of the Cuban presidency this week amounts to less than meets the eye even if his handpicked successor, the Communist Party functionary Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, is the first person not named Castro to le...
Published: 04/20/18

Editorial: A missed chance for open primary elections

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission did a lot of things wrong this week by combining unrelated or unpalatable provisions into single amendments that will appear on the November ballot. It also wasted an opportunity to do one thing right. The...
Published: 04/20/18
Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

The Hillsborough school district planted a fruitful seed with the opening of Nature’s Classroom five decades ago on the cypress-lined banks of the Hillsborough River northeast of Tampa. • The lessons taught there to some 17,000 sixth graders each yea...
Published: 04/20/18

Editorial: Equality pays off on Southwest Flight 1380

The passengers of Southwest Flight 1380 can be thankful that, 33 years ago, the U.S. Navy took the lead on equal opportunity.Capt. Tammie Jo Shults was piloting the flight from New York to Dallas on Tuesday when an engine exploded, blowing out a wind...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Anyone looking to make Hillsborough County government bigger, costlier, more dysfunctional and less of a regional force should love the idea that Commissioner Sandy Murman rolled out this week. She proposes enlarging the seven-member board to nine, e...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

A new foster care provider in Hillsborough County is poised to take over operations in May, only months after its predecessor was fired for what was alleged to be a pattern of failing to supervise at-risk children in its care. Many of the case manage...
Published: 04/18/18

Another voice: Back to postal reform

President Donald Trump is angry at Amazon for, in his tweeted words, "costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy." Yet in more recent days, Trump has at least channeled his feelings in what could prove...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Editorial: Congress should protect independence of special counsel

Editorial: Congress should protect independence of special counsel

A bipartisan Senate bill clarifying that only the attorney general or a high-ranking designee could remove a special prosecutor would send an important message amid President Donald Trump’s attacks on the investigation into Russia’s inter...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18