WASHINGTON -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Wednesday offered some more details about his proposal to more closely track immigrants with U.S. visas in order to crack down on illegal immigration.
It turns out the hawkish presidential contender does not want to treat people like FedEx packages, as he suggested at a campaign event on Saturday. Rather, Christie said, he would track people who overstayed their visas using existing biometric technology -- or their fingerprints.
"I don't mean people are packages," Christie said in an interview on Fox News. "We should use biometric technology to track people who come as visitors. They are not immigrants, they are not immigrating here. They are here to visit for a period of time, get an education or do something we permit them to do to visit our country, and we should track those people and they should not stay over the period of time they do."
"People complain about the 11 million [undocumented immigrants in the U.S.]. Well, 40 percent of those 11 million are here not because they snuck over the southern border -- which we spend a lot of time talking about -- but because we let them in through an airport and decided we do not need to track them anymore," the governor went on. "This is not treating people like packages. I'm not saying put bar codes on people -- that is ridiculous. But we need to use technology in order to be able to secure the border."
Christie said he envisioned a system similar to the one that law enforcement authorities use to track criminals by their fingerprints. The proposed system would issue a red flag if someone with an expired visa used their ID to rent a car or take a flight, for example.
"The technology exists. I think you can do it with fingerprint technology," Christie said. "Government doesn't do this."