Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Editorials

Romney owes nation straight answer on immigration

Presidents do not get to dodge issues, and candidates for the nation's highest office should not get into that bad habit. Voters deserve a straight answer from Mitt Romney on whether he would continue President Barack Obama's new immigration policy or overturn it if he is elected. The Republican danced around the issue over the weekend, and he will have another opportunity to be more candid when he appears this week at a conference of Hispanic officials in Orlando.

Romney bobbed and weaved on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, failing three times to directly answer how he would deal with the Obama policy as president. The new policy Obama announced on Friday allows an estimated 800,000 younger illegal immigrants to remain in the United States legally if they meet certain conditions. They have to have arrived in this country before they turned 16 years old and be younger than 30 years old, graduate from high school or hold a GED, or have served in the military. They must have been here for five straight years and cannot have a criminal record.

The policy is clear, but Romney's position on whether he would embrace it as president is anything but. He said Obama's policy "would be overtaken by events'' because he would purse a long-term change in immigration policy that would be passed by Congress, but that is no guarantee. Romney also complained that Obama's decision was political, but it is no more political than his determination to avoid taking a position.

The reality is both Democrats and Republicans were feeling pressure to adopt a more sensible immigration policy in an election year when Hispanic citizens represent a key voting bloc. Democrats complained the president had not done enough, and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has been exploring legislation that resembles Obama's policy change. The president acted because Congress remains deadlocked over immigration, unable to pass sweeping reforms to address the 11 million illegal immigrants in this country. Congress also has failed to pass the Dream Act, which would create a path to citizenship for younger illegal immigrants who attend college or serve in the military.

Whether you are living in the White House or campaigning to move in, there is nowhere to hide on high-profile issues. Obama discovered that on the issue of same-sex marriage. He said for months that his views were "evolving,'' but he finally was forced to clarify his position last month after Vice President Joe Biden said he supported same-sex marriage. The president was unable to keep equivocating and declared his own support.

Now Romney faces a similar moment. He has used harsh anti-immigrant language in the past, supported Arizona's immigration law that the Obama administration has challenged in court and opposed the Dream Act. He owes voters a straight answer on whether he would continue Obama's new policy or overturn it if he is elected president, and he will have the perfect opportunity this week in Orlando.

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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: 8 hours ago

Correction

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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