When Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie recently suggested that U.S. immigration officials should monitor immigrants using the same technology that FedEx uses to track shipped packages, critics panned him for suggesting that people should be treated like packages.
Christie was forced to clarify that he meant a system in which the government could “use technology in order to be able to secure the border.”
“We can bring in the folks from FedEx to use the technology to do it. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I don’t mean people are packages. Don’t be ridiculous,” he said.
Comedian Trevor Noah expressed more skepticism and pressed Christie on the specifics of his idea in a Wednesday interview on “The Daily Show.” Noah, an immigrant from South Africa, said that it felt “personal.”
“I was watching the debates, and you were talking about people and their visas. People need to have their visas, and they shouldn’t overstay their time in the U.S. I felt like you were talking to me personally because that happened to me one time,” Noah said. “But what I didn’t understand was the biometrics. You want people to get FedEx stamps?”
“No, no, no. You know that. You already have 10 FedEx stamps,” Christie responded, referring to fingerprints. “Hold up both your hands. You got 10 stamps already.”
Christie explained that if elected president, he would implement a system in which immigrants would be fingerprinted at checkpoints coming in and out of the country and added to a database. “With a fingerprint, you have a database, and if it says you overstayed, we tap you on the shoulder and say, ‘Thanks for coming.'”
But Noah was not convinced, continuing to grill Christie on the logistics and cost of his proposal. Last month, a supply chain expert told HuffPost that the idea is impractical and raises concerns about privacy.
In addition, it would be costly: when a 2013 Senate immigration bill included a similar proposal, government officials estimated that such a system would cost about $7 billion, which Noah noted on Wednesday.
“That’s a lot less expensive than a wall across the entire southern border. How about that?” Christie said, a barb at reality television star Donald Trump’s plan to build a giant border wall to keep out immigrants.
The New Jersey governor has been consistently polling toward the bottom half of the crowded GOP field, and when Noah asked about what Christie plans to do to increase his low poll numbers, the candidate replied: “Come on the first week of ‘The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,’ baby.”
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