From Donald Trump's outrageous fantasies about Mexican criminality, to Jeb Bush's casual use of the term "anchor babies," it seems like Republican presidential candidates are competing to find new ways to offend a substantial portion of the US electorate. The latest innovation came this weekend from a New Jersey man named Chris Christie, who suggested that immigrants be tracked with all of the efficiency of FedEx.
Christie is the governor of New Jersey, the 11th most populous state in the union, where as many as one in five voters are immigrants or the children of immigrants. Here's what Mr. Christie said on Saturday to a crowd in Laconia, New Hampshire, according to Reuters:
"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 added that "we need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in," but was unable to satisfy the full realization of the analogy. In perhaps the most understated burn ever delivered by Reuters, the wire service noted that "Mr. Christie did not say specifically how a system would track people the same way packages are tracked by FedEx, which scans a bar code on the package at each step of its delivery."
Christie doubled down on the ambiguity on Fox News Sunday, saying that "this is once again a situation where private sector laps us in the government with the use of technology. Let's use the same type of technology to make sure that 40 percent of the 11 million people here legally don't overstay their visas. If FedEx can do it, why can't we use the same technology to do it."
"We can do it."
When asked by Sunday host Chris Wallace how exactly the government would accomplish this idea without putting labels on people's wrists, Christie said, "We can do it, and we should bring in the folks from FedEx to use the technology to be able to do it." Welcome to the land of the free.