House Republicans finally found a solution to America’s illegal immigrant problem: bounty hunters. As part of a bill to ban states from issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, Rep. Pete Sessions inserted an amendment less than 24 hours before the vote establishing ten state-sponsored bounty hunter centers. Though bounty hunters are currently legal–more than 3,900 operate in Sessions’ home state of Texas–the new plan allows bail bondsmen to nab suspected illegals even before a final deportation order has been issued.
The plan also evokes a number of uncomfortable precedents, including the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. Part of the Compromise of 1850, the law allowed authorities to track down runaway slaves in any region of the country, including free states.