Tag Archives: FedEx

Chris Christie: The U.S. Should Track Immigrants Like FedEx Tracks Packages

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]

[RELATED: Chris Christie Condemns ‘Civil Liberties Extremists’, Argues To Maintain NSA Surveillance In NH Speech]

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.”

[RELATED: Reality Check: ‘Anchor Babies’ and Trump’s U.S. Citizenship Claims]

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.”

For more election coverage, click here.

This story has been updated to clarify the type of immigrant Christie intends to track.

FedEx Indicted on 15 Criminal Counts for Drug Trafficking

Despite the fact that the Controlled Substances Act contains an exemption that protects common contract carriers like FedEx from being prosecuted for someone else’s attempt to sneak drugs through the mail, the Department of Justice has indicted the popular shipping company on 15 criminal counts for servicing orders for illegal online pharmacies. However, online pharmacies are a legal type of government-regulated business, and FedEx has repeatedly asked authorities to provide a list of pharmacies that engage in illegal practices like filling orders without prescriptions.

FedEx, through its lawyers, argued that it has a policy to not open packages and does not have the resources to perform law enforcement duties on behalf of the Drug Enforcement Administration. According to Yahoo! News, FedEx’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement, “We want to be clear what’s at stake here: the government is suggesting that FedEx assume criminal responsibility for the legality of the contents of the millions of packages that we pick up and deliver every day. We are a transportation company – we are not law enforcement. We have no interest in violating the privacy of our customers. We continue to stand ready and willing to support and assist law enforcement. We cannot, however, do the job of law enforcement ourselves.” US District Judge Charles Breyer indicated that the case will hinge on a determination as to what the company’s duties are in terms of verifying the potential criminality of online pharmacies that use shipping services.

The Department of Justice, which has been investigating the company for nine years, claims that FedEx knew it was servicing illegal online pharmacies. Yahoo! News pulled the following quote from the DOJ’s indictment, “FedEx’s couriers in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia expressed safety concerns that were circulated to FedEx Senior management, including that FedEx trucks were stopped on the road by online pharmacy customers demanding packages of pills, that the delivery address was a parking lot, school, or vacant home where several car loads of people were waiting for the FedEx driver to arrive with their drugs, that customers were jumping on the FedEx trucks and demanding online pharmacy packages, and that FedEx drivers were threatened if they insisted on delivering packages to the addresses instead of giving the packages to customers who demanded them.” In response to these issues, FedEx crafted a policy requiring packages from certain shippers to be held for pick up rather than delivered to an address. The DOJ believes this to be an admission that the company knew it was dealing with illegal online pharmacies. However, legal pharmacies sell addictive drugs, so the fact that recipients were demonstrating symptoms of drug addiction does not necessarily conclusively indicate that the seller is an illegal provider.

The DOJ is also alleging that FedEx carried shipments for pharmacies that had connections, such as matching shipping addresses, to known illegal providers. However, this presumes that FedEx has a responsibility and the capability to tie together these types of connections, considering the enormous volume of shipments it deals in each day.

FedEx was indicted on July 17 by a federal grand jury, and plead not guilty to the 15 criminal counts at a July 29 hearing. The case is due back in court on August 28. If convicted, FedEx could face up to $1.6 billion in fines. According to Bloomberg, FedEx attorney Chris Arguedas said, “The company has cooperated with the Department of Justice throughout its multiyear investigation. FedEx will continue to defend its conduct and its people.”

The Wall Street Journal pointed out the fact that UPS previously settled this same issue with the DOJ, which offered the carrier a non-prosecution agreement in exchange for paying $40 million in fines and assisting the government in catching illegal online pharmacies. It is possible that the prosecution of FedEx is an effort to get the company to assist the DEA in enforcing drug laws.