So the latest “brilliant idea” from the Presidential candidate Chris Christie is to track immigrants as if they were Fed-Ex packages. Claiming that 40% of illegal immigrants are here on expired visas, his idea is to keep track of where they are, “And then when your time is up … however long your visa is, then we go get you and tap you on the shoulder and say ‘Excuse me, thanks for coming, time to go.’” Yes, real quote. Also, no specifics on how that would work. It’s not exactly dignified to slap a bar-code on them when they arrive at the airport. Hey, make sure the hotel scans that for you regularly, mmkay?
Now allow me to point out that — even if we take Mr. Christie’s often-quoted statistic at face value, this will catch at most 2/5 of illegal immigrants at some point in the future. It won’t do anything about the other 3/5. Hmm, interesting fraction that, since many illegal immigrants work in jobs that routinely violate labor laws, or are in outright slavery.
Back to the idea of somehow tracking every non-American who shows up at an port of entry, including airports and border crossings. Maybe give them some kind of emblem to pin on their jackets?? Now, if the Religious Right wing of the Republican base actually knows the tenets of their faith, they should have a specific Bible verse coming to mind.
Anybody who really wants to talk about the illegal immigration problem needs to address the fact that it can take many many years to get normal permanent status and/or become a citizen. There are only a limited number of permanent visas and green cards issued each year, and most immigrants must maintain that status for 5 years before applying to become a citizen. Dealing with current immigrants under these quotas is much like attempting to drink a gallon of milk using a teaspoon.
But hey, it sure sounds cool to track them like some package you’ve ordered.