Facing ridicule about his proposal to track foreign visitors the same way FedEx tracks packages, Gov. Christie attempted to clarify his comments by telling a Fox News Sunday interviewer who pointed out that foreigners do not have labels on their wrists, “I don’t mean people are packages, so let’s not be ridiculous,” according to Reuters.
While calling Donald Trump’s plans to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and build a wall between the United States and Mexico “simplistic,” Christie says that he has put forward a much more detailed proposal and that that the presidential race is “not only about personality. It’s also about ideas…”
I guess this cockamamie scheme to track people like packages is one of those “great ideas.”
Dawn Le, a spokeswoman for the Alliance for Citizenship — a nonprofit group that wants a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants — commented, according to Reuters, “Basically, [Christie] put a stamp on everyone’s wrist without providing a solution for the people who are here…How is his proposal any different than Donald Trump’s? Would he deport all 11 million people? He didn’t say.”
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Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who is lagging badly in the GOP presidential opinion polls, has come up with a neat way to both raise his standing among Republicans and to combat illegal immigration, especially by those pesky foreigners who overstay their visas.
According to the New York Times, Christie would create a system to track foreign visitors from the moment they come into our country until they leave, a system that would make it possible to “get” those who don’t leave on schedule. “We tap you on the shoulder and say, ‘Excuse me. Thanks for coming. Time to go,’” Christie says.
While Christie did not provide details on such a system, he alluded that it would be similar to the system FedEx uses to track packages and that he would ask FedEx’s chief executive to devise the tracking system.
“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 …Yet we let people come to this country with visas, and the minute they come in, we lose track of them,” Christie told those attending a campaign event in New Hampshire, according to the Times.
FedEx uses a sophisticated barcode scanning and tracking system which, according to FedEx, lets you “track the status of your shipments, nickname your packages, create a personal watch list….”
Using a barcode scanning system for people might be problematic. First, where would you stamp the barcode? On the forehead? Nah, too reminiscent of the Yellow Star “method.”
Second, how would you continuously scan the barcode? With drones perhaps? Nah, too costly, plus “real Americans” would probably object to such collateral invasion of their privacy.
A much better system would be one that implants chips in our visitors and tracks them using satellite GPS. Much more reliable, accurate and hopefully less reminiscent of bad-things-past.
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The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.