Christie channels Gingrich on FedEx immigration ‘solution’

September 1, 2015

By Ginger Gibson and Erin McPike 

WASHINGTON  – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has raised eyebrows by arguing that potential undocumented immigrants could be tracked like FedEx packages. But was it just a punch line from the Newt Gingrich playbook?

Christie said he wants to hire FedEx founder Fred Smith to build an identical system to the one that monitors millions of deliveries, but one that keeps track of visitors on temporary visas so they could be reminded to leave the country when their stay expires. Christie argued that much of the nation’s immigration problem isn’t those illegally crossing the border, but those who overstay student or tourist visas.

Chris Christie answers a question from the audience during a campaign town hall meeting at Sayde's Neighborhood Bar and Grill in Salem, New Hampshire August 24, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Chris Christie answers a question from the audience during a campaign town hall meeting at Sayde’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill in Salem, New Hampshire August 24, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

It’s not the first time a presidential candidate has evoked images of barcodes on foreheads to suggest how the nation’s immigration system should be fixed.

“It is a fact that in the world that works, you can track packages in virtually real time,” former House Speaker Gingrich said in 2007 at a speech. “Literally millions of packages a day are tracked in real time. Now here is the world that fails, the federal government today cannot today find somewhere between 10 and 20 million illegal immigrants even if they’re sitting. So several million packages a day while moving, several million people while not moving. To me that leads to a very obvious proposal, which is that we send a package to every person who is here illegally,” Gingrich said, to laughter. “UPS and FedEx deliver them, we track them on the computer.”

That wouldn’t be the last time Gingrich would tell that joke. In fact, the punchline — about sending immigrants packages in order to find them — became a frequent line in his 2012 stump speech in 2012.

Christie practically echoed Gingrich in making his proposal this weekend. “You go online and at any moment FedEx can tell you where that package is,” Christie said this weekend in New Hampshire. “Yet, we let people come to this country with visas and the minute they come in, we lose track of them.”

Some commentators did find Christie funny, but not in a good way. “Christie’s idea would be laughable were he not serious,” writes lawyer Paul A. Reyes. “The idea of tracking people like packages would likely be both impossible and inhumane. Moreover, it would do nothing toward solving the problem of what to do with the majority of the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are already here.”


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My “take” on Christie and Trump is that maybe, just maybe, the American public is tired of the same old “dog and pony show” by career politicians and is yearning for ANYONE who will enforce America’s immigration laws retroactively AS EXIST but ignored. We need to repeal a “birthright citizenship” that no longer serves its original purpose. We need to be willing to deport or chase back across our border those wrongfully here. We don’t let a thief keep a wallet or a car stolen from its rightful owner after some arbitrary period of time has elapsed.

Why should Americans tolerate the dilution of the AMERICAN language and culture by economic leeches who have invaded this country over decades to get benefits they are NOT ENTITLED TO today or EVER at the expense of productive American citizens. I’m willing to give ANYBODY the helm that will change the course America has been on since the Reagan Amnesty.


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