Roundup: Editorial opinions from other papers
Trump: Act to protect the DREAMers, please
President-elect Donald Trump has sounded more restrained on immigration than he did during the campaign, most notably in advocating a deportation policy targeting unauthorized immigrants with criminal and gang backgrounds that appears quite similar to one President Obama used from 2009 to 2014. Though Obama later scaled back this approach after being blasted by some Latino activists as the “deporter in chief,” it would be difficult to depict Trump as extreme if he did the same.
But Trump hasn’t taken a specific position yet on whether he will scrap Obama’s executive order providing some legal protections to more than 1 million young immigrants who have stayed out of serious legal trouble and are currently in school, have a high school degree or a GED, or have served in the military. This group is known as the “DREAMers” because of legislation carrying the term that was considered but not adopted by Congress.
Trump’s primary opponents charged that he had flip-flopped on the DREAM Act after he emerged as an immigration hard-liner last year. But while his silence as president-elect may seem encouraging, these are scary times for too many young immigrants. Trump should remove this fear by announcing he won’t overturn Obama’s order.
San Diego Union-Tribune, Dec. 2
Housing pick could set back climate policy
Donald Trump wants a person who has expressly refused to believe in climate change to run a federal agency that plays a big part in U.S. climate policy. It’s not the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Energy; it’s the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Trump’s choice to lead HUD is former presidential hopeful Ben Carson, who says there’s no good evidence that global temperatures are rising — a view that just 14 percent of Americans share.
While much of the climate debate has been about how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a separate effort, led by HUD, is under way to protect Americans from the consequences of those emissions: more frequent and extreme hurricanes, floods and other severe weather events.
After Superstorm Sandy, Congress gave the agency $1 billion for grants to cities and states to carry out innovative ideas for reducing storm damage. HUD has also proposed two essential requirements — that any new construction backed by the Federal Housing Administration meet tougher flood-proofing standards, and that cities and states applying for HUD grants plan for the effects of climate change on low-income households.
What’s more, HUD is directly responsible for the country’s 1.1 million public housing units, which are disproportionately exposed to the effects of climate change. An increasing number of those units are being lost to extreme weather, exacerbating the already severe lack of affordable housing nationwide. This is something the next HUD secretary will urgently need to address.
That was already going to be challenging; the appointment of a climate-change denier would make it harder. Democrats in Congress should use Carson’s confirmation hearings to air his views on climate science and make sure he appreciates the importance of HUD’s climate policies.
Bloomberg View, Dec. 6