During a campaign rally on Saturday, former New Jersey Gov. and GOP Presidential candidate Chris Christie said that if he were elected, he would track immigrants with visas in the United States in the same way that FedEx tracks its packages.
Christie said that he plans on having the founder of FedEx come to work for the government because currently when the U.S. issues visas, “the minute they come in, we lose track of them.”
“I’m going to have Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, come work for the government for three months,” Christie said. “Just come for three months to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and show these people.”
Striving for a system similar to the one used by the independent shipping company, Christie said he used it as an example, because while FedEx can track packages, the U.S. can’t track immigrants.
[pull_quote_center]We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in and then when your time is up, however long your visa is, then we go get you and tap you on the shoulder and say, ‘Excuse me, it’s time to go,'[/pull_quote_center]
Along with the topic of immigration, the conversation about “anchor babies” has also been popular among GOP candidates, and Christie referred to it as a “distraction” that reflects poorly on the Republican party.
“The entire conversation about ‘anchor babies’ is a distraction that makes us sound like we’re anti-immigrant, and we’re not,” Christie said. “Our party is not that way. We want people to do it legally. Do it the right way.”
Christie’s comments were criticized by immigrant advocates such as Dawn Le, spokeswoman for the Alliance for Citizenship, who told Reuters that she doesn’t see Christies’s proposal as all that different from Donald Trump’s immigration plans.
“Basically, he put a stamp on everyone’s wrist without providing a solution for the people who are here,” Le said. “How is his proposal any different than Donald Trump’s? Would he deport all 11 million people? He didn’t say.”
Christie doubled down on his comments on Sunday, during an interview with Fox News. He insisted that he was not comparing people to packages, and he called any criticism of his prior comments “ridiculous.”
“I don’t mean people are packages, so let’s not be ridiculous,” Christie said. “This is once again a situation where the private sector laps us in the government with the use of technology. We should bring in the folks from FedEx to use the technology to be able to do it. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
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This story has been updated to clarify the type of immigrant Christie intends to track.