Photo by Mel Evans, AP

Photo by Mel Evans, AP

WASHINGTON – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said if he is elected president, he will implement a system to track immigrants like packages.

“I’m going to ask Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, to come work for the government for three months,” the Republican presidential candidate said during a campaign stop in New Hampshire Saturday. “Just come for three months to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and show these people.”

Christie noted that when he sends packages to his daughter in college, FedEx tracks it in real time and shows it online.

“It’s on the truck, it’s at the station, it’s on the airplane, it’s back at another station, it’s back on the truck, it’s at her doorstep, she just signed for it,” he said. “Yet we let people come to this country with visas, and the minute they come in, we lose track of them.”

He said that 40% of immigrants living illegally in the United States overstayed their visas, rather than coming across the border illegally.

“We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in,” Christie said. “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.’”

FedEx tracks packages using computer bar codes that are scanned at various stages in the delivery process.

Christie did not elaborate on how the federal government might implement a tracking system. His campaign could not be reached for comment.

His remarks come as Donald Trump’s tough talk on immigration has helped rocket him to front-runner status in the polls. The New York real estate mogul has overshadowed many in the field, occupying the tell-it-like-it-is lane that Christie had hoped to run in and the “unintimidated” tough-fighter one that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had hoped to occupy.

In a Quinnipiac poll released Thursday, Walker drew 6% support among Republican and Republican-leaning voters, and Trump had 28%. Christie had 4%.