Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Pinellas sheriff seeks solutions on undocumented immigrants

Rather than trading verbal jabs with the Trump administration over how to deal with suspected undocumented immigrants, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is working on solutions. Gualtieri is talking with federal officials about how local law enforcement officials can legally hold prisoners for Immigration and Customs Enforcement without violating their constitutional rights. It's a serious issue, and it's smarter to reach a consensus on proper procedure than to escalate tensions between some sheriffs and federal officials.

In the past, ICE has insisted local sheriffs should hold prisoners arrested on local charges until they can show up and determine whether the prisoners are in the country illegally. President Donald Trump even issued an executive order in January that called on local police and sheriffs to double as immigration officers, which is not their job. Labeling communities as sanctuary cities if they do not blindly heed federal demands and threatening to withhold federal money also is not helpful.

As the Tampa Bay Times' Tony Marrero reports, Gualtieri has worked diligently for months to seek a solution. The Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco sheriffs' offices accept ICE civil warrants to hold someone for 48 hours. The Broward and Alachua sheriffs do not. Gualtieri uses an additional procedure to rebook detainees into jail on immigration charges if ICE provides a detainer request and warrant but does not arrive by the time the detainee can be released on local charges. That puts the responsibility squarely on federal officials rather than the sheriff, which is where it belongs.

In the best scenario, ICE would have a judge sign their warrants and show up on time to take custody of suspected undocumented immigrants. That would take a change in federal policy and more financial resources. But the key is for ICE and local sheriffs to reach a consensus on dealing with undocumented immigrants that is both legal and feasible — and it's good that Gualtieri is a key voice in the discussion.

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Editorial: As USFSP consolidation task force meets, openness and collaboration are key

Editorial: As USFSP consolidation task force meets, openness and collaboration are key

Writing a new law that phases out separate accreditation for the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and folds it back into the major research university was the easy part. The hard work starts today when a new consolidation task force holds i...
Updated: 13 minutes ago

Correction

CorrectionCircuit Judge John Stargel of Lakeland is a member of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission who voted against a proposed amendment that would have stopped write-in candidates from closing primary elections. An editorial Saturday inco...
Published: 04/23/18
Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Not too many people took then-candidate Donald Trump seriously when he famously campaigned to "drain the swamp" as president. But that shouldn’t give this administration a free pass to excuse the behavior of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Env...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18
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: Florida’s death penalty fading away on its own

Editorial: Florida’s death penalty fading away on its own

Florida lawmakers may never take the death penalty off the books, but stronger forces are steadily eroding this inhumane, outdated tool of injustice. Court rulings, subsequent changes to law and waning public support have significantly suppressed the...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

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
Updated: 04/23/18
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: 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