New Jersey Governor (and US Presidential candidate) wants to track visitors to US ‘like Fedex packages’


In a fairly extraordinary speech, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, home of Newark airport, is adding a new twist to the US immigration debate. He has compared people entering the US lawfully to packages about which he says, “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.”

His concern appears to be people with valid US visas for entry to the country who simply overstay and hence become illegal. Apparently this group represents 40% of illegal immigrants the Governor says.

What, I wonder would this mean for for visitors to the US, with visas and on the visa-waiver (ESTA) system used by the nationals of many countries?

Reporting to ICE offices, mobile phone tracking, RFID tracking of passports whilst inside the US?

I suspect the Governors position in the polls may have led to this proposal, in an attempt to make him seem tough on immigration.

As for FedEx, to quote the New York Times – “A FedEx spokeswoman declined to comment on Mr. Christie’s remarks.”

I know passengers are often called ‘self loading cargo’ when on aircraft, but I think this comparison to packages is a little strange.





  1. The scary thing is that this will be far, far from the stupidest or craziest thing to come out of a Republican presidential candidate’s mouth in the next 14 months.

  2. Not sure what’s wrong with the general concept of keeping tabs on visitors to the US (or any other country for that matter) to ensure they don’t overstay their visa. The technology exists and should be incorporated into travel documents like passports, Nexus cards and the like. Since airlines must submit their manifests to TSA/INS and scan passports, it should be a simple matter to match up those who enter with those who leave…and when a visitors visa is overstayed, to trigger a tracking “alarm” and tracing of some sort (cell phone, passport chip, use of credit cards). An honest visitor has nothing to worry from such a system, but the US still has a problem that must be addressed, and brought into the 21st century with technology available. Remember, traveling outside your country is a privilege not a right.

    While I agree Christie stands no chance of making it past the first round of primaries, his approach is more rational that the front-runner, and we’ve heard crazier things from other Republicans.

Comments are closed.