Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie announced his intention to use FedEx technology to track immigrants like packages if elected.
During a campaign stop Saturday, the New Jersey Governor said he would invite FedEx founder Fred Smith to Washington D.C. to help implement an electronic immigrant tracking system, according to CNN.
“You go online and at any moment, FedEx can tell you where that package is. Yet we let people come into this country with visas, and the minute they come in, we lose track of them. 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.”
FedEx uses computers to track packages using barcodes that are scanned by employees at various stages of the delivery process, but it’s not clear how Christie’s system would work.
Christie’s announcement comes during a presidential race already rocked by Donald Trump’s inflammatory comments about immigrants being criminals and drug dealers.
His headline grabbing statements have helped propel him to the front of the Republican pack of presidential candidates.
This isn’t the first time Republican candidates have proposed tracking immigrants like FedEx packages.
In 2012, Newt Gingrich first proposed the idea while running for re-election in a campaign speech. Then in 2014, Rep. Barbara Comstock proposed the same idea of tracking immigrants like packages during a Congressional debate with a Democratic challenger.
When Christie floated the idea Saturday he said 40 percent of immigrants living illegally in the U.S. have overstayed their visas. He also touched on recent conversations about so called “anchor babies,” saying the topic makes Republicans look bad.
The phrase refers to babies born to illegal immigrants who gain citizenship by being born within American borders.
Chris Christie Says We Should Treat Immigrants Like FedEx Packages http://t.co/NYO3nz0Chr
— Matt Yglesias RSS (@Yglesias_RSS) August 29, 2015
Jeb Bush first used the phrase earlier this month during a radio address and was blasted a short time later by Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, according to CNN.
Although not the only topic debated by Republican contenders, the immigration issue has surfaced as a hot button issue during the 2016 race.
The latest presidential poll by Real Clear Politics shows Christie in 11th place with 3.5 percent ahead of only Perry, Santorum, Jindal, and Graham. Trump leads the Republican pack with 23.5 percent followed by Carson with 10.3 and Bush with 9.8.