Exclusive: Chris Christie Campaign Defends Immigration Visa Reform

New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie arrives at Chabad House at Rutgers University to express his opposition to President Obama's Iran deal on August 25, 2015 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Christie also encouraged U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) to oppose the deal. (Photo by
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie proposed a plan to use modern private sector tracking technology to improve the visa process in America, liberal critics predictably freaked out.

The campaign insists that Christie’s comments were more about the principal of using modern technology to solve government problems.

“Clearly the Governor is talking about leveraging private sector innovation and technology to address government inefficiency and to help solve some of our country’s biggest problems, including knowing when individuals overstay their visas,” said Christie’s Communications Director Samantha Smith to Breitbart News. “It is also important to note that there is broad bipartisan support in Congress for a high-tech system to modernize the visas process in the United States.”

During a town hall event in New Hampshire, Christie said: “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.”

The idea sent journalists in a tizzy, as some even compared it to the U.S. government internment of Japanese Americans in World War II.

Christie has used this example before in town hall meetings in New Hampshire, receiving a positive response from conservatives who’re concerned about the U.S. government losing track of visa holders who end up staying illegally in the United States.

Smith is also the daughter of FedEx president and CEO Fred Smith.

The idea is not foreign to the presidential debate, as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich frequently brought it up in the 2012 Republican primary.

“There are an estimated 11 million people here illegally and the federal government can’t find them while they’re sitting still,” he joked in 2011. “One of my proposals is that we send everybody a package.”

At the time, Gingrich defended it as a joke pointing out that he was merely using the rhetoric to show how hapless government had become on an important issue.

He used the example again during a 2012 CPAC speech, as the delighted crowd of conservatives applauded.

“Let me say for my friends in the news media that that was hyperbole, and we don’t need a fact check,” Gingrich added at the time.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.