Chris Christie: Let’s track immigrants like FedEx packages.

Chris Christie: Let’s Track Immigrants Like FedEx Packages

Chris Christie: Let’s Track Immigrants Like FedEx Packages

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Aug. 29 2015 10:35 PM

Chris Christie: Let’s Track Immigrants Like FedEx Packages

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New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie speaks at Chabad House at Rutgers University to express his opposition to President Obama's Iran deal on August 25, 2015 in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

One of the few Republican presidential hopefuls who hadn't been espousing crazy ideas about immigration apparently did not want to get left behind. At a campaign stop in New Hampshire, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that if he were president, he would track immigrants like Federal Express packages. "You go online and at any moment, FedEx can tell you where that package is. It’s on the truck. It’s at the station. It’s on the airplane," Christie said at a town hall even in Laconia, N.H. on Saturday. "Yet we let people come to this country with visas, and the minute they come in, we lose track of them.”

"So here’s what I’m going to do as president: I’m going to ask Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, to come work for the government for three months, just come for three months to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and show these people." Smith is the father of Christie spokeswoman Samantha Smith, notes CNN.

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Christie apparently wants to create a massive surveillance system in order to do this so that the government knows exactly where every immigrant is all the time. "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, thanks for coming, it's time to go.'"

The United States issued 9,932,480 nonimmigrant visas last year, according to the State Department.

Christie had been taking a rather moderate stance on immigration and has not endorsed building a fence or wall along the border. Yet this latest remark “shows again how serious the Republican field of presidential contenders is about catching up to billionaire Donald Trump, whose campaign has been built in part on such tough talk,” notes the Washington Post.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.