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In today's pages: Immigration, global warming and Afghanistan

October 27, 2009 |  1:22 pm

Toles Departing Police Chief William Bratton prods immigration culture warriors today with an op-ed explaining why the LAPD doesn't, and shouldn't, participate in the controversial 287(g) program, which gives local law enforcement officers the powers of federal immigration agents. Turning police into de facto Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents harms community policing and discourages witnesses who might be illegal immigrants from coming forward.

Also on the Op-Ed page, columnist Jonah Goldberg argues that trying to limit carbon emissions to fight global warming is a pointless waste of money because it can't solve the problem; better to invest in technological solutions and adjusting to a warmer world. And think tank scholars Leo Michel and Robert Hunter argue that U.S. allies are already doing plenty of heavy lifting as part of the NATO contingent in Afghanistan, so American officials should do less lecturing and more listening if they want more cooperation.

Speaking of Afghanistan, the Editorial page says the country can't be pacified simply by sending more troops. That has become abundantly clear in the face of increased suicide bombings in Iraq, which like Afghanistan has been slow to build a credible government.

We also send a rare love note to the California Legislature, pointing out two genuinely worthwhile bills that will help cities make better use of water, an increasingly precious resource in this dry and crowded state. And we weigh in on Operation Gatekeeper, the federal effort started in 1994 to tighten border security in a five-mile stretch from the Pacific Ocean to San Ysidro. Though the program has been successful in reducing crossings in that area, it has had an unintended consequence that must be addressed: Deaths of people trying to cross the desert farther to the east have skyrocketed.

Editorial cartoon by Tom Toles / Washington Post

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