Friday, December 15, 2017
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 been working 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: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

Editorial: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

For once, it would be nice to see Sen. Marco Rubio stand up as the independent leader he aspires to become. For once, the Florida Republican should hold his position rather than bow to pragmatic politics. Rubio can stick with his threat Thursday to v...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Another voice: A shameful anniversary

Josephine "Joey" Gay should have celebrated her 12th birthday this week. She should have been surrounded by friends and family in a place festooned with purple, her favorite color.Chase Kowalski should have been working toward a Boy Scout merit badge...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Timing is everything, and Sen. Bill Nelson seized the right moment this week to call on his colleagues to pass legislation he filed earlier this year that would block the Trump administration from opening additional areas to offshore drilling. With t...
Published: 12/13/17

Another voice: Alabama picks an honorable man

THANK YOU, Alabama.In Tuesday’s special election, the state by a narrow margin chose to spare the nation the indignity of seating an accused child molester in the U.S. Senate. Though the stain of electing Republican Roy Moore would have sullied Alaba...
Published: 12/12/17
Updated: 12/13/17
Editorial: Tax cuts aren’t worth harm to Tampa Bay

Editorial: Tax cuts aren’t worth harm to Tampa Bay

As congressional negotiators hammer out the details on an enormous, unnecessary tax cut, the potential negative impact on Tampa Bay and Florida is becoming clearer. The harmful consequences stretch far beyond adding more than $1.4 trillion to the fed...
Published: 12/12/17

Another voice: Privacy in the internet age

How much information about you is on your cellphone? Likely the most intimate details of your life: photographs, internet searches, text and email conversations with friends and colleagues. And though you might not know it, your phone is constantly c...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated: 12/11/17
Editorial: Grand jury could force reforms of juvenile justice system

Editorial: Grand jury could force reforms of juvenile justice system

Confronted with documentation of sanctioned brutality and sexual abuse in Florida’s juvenile detention centers, the reaction from Gov. Rick Scott’s administration was defensive and obtuse. So it’s welcome news that Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Editorial: U.S. House sides with NRA over state’s rights on concealed weapons permits

With the horror of the mass shootings at a Las Vegas country music concert and a small Texas church still fresh, the U.S. House finally has taken action on guns. But the bill it passed last week won’t make Americans safer from gun violence. It is an ...
Published: 12/07/17
Editorial: Hillsborough cannot afford pay raises for teachers

Editorial: Hillsborough cannot afford pay raises for teachers

There is no satisfaction for anyone in the standoff over pay raises between the Hillsborough County School District and its teachers. Most teachers across the nation already are underpaid, but this district simply cannot afford the raises teachers ex...
Published: 12/07/17
Editorial: Impact of Water Street project extends beyond buildings

Editorial: Impact of Water Street project extends beyond buildings

With a buildout of $3 billion encompassing entire city blocks, it’s obvious that Jeff Vinik’s plans will change the look and feel of downtown Tampa. But the Tampa Bay Lightning owner unveiled a broader vision last week that reflects how far the impac...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/08/17