New Jersey Governor Chris Christie pushed back on Sunday against "ridiculous" criticism of his new proposal to track foreign visitors the way FedEx tracks packages, saying government needs private sector expertise to tackle illegal immigration.
"I don't mean people are packages, so let's not be ridiculous," the Republican presidential candidate told an
interviewer on Fox News Sunday who pointed out that foreigners don't have labels on their wrists.
"This is once again a situation where the private sector laps us in the government with the use of technology," Christie said. "We should bring in the folks from FedEx to use the technology to be able to do it. There's nothing wrong with that."
Christie said on Saturday that if elected president, he would use a FedEx-like system to make sure visitors who enter the United States legally on visas depart the country when their time is up. He maintains that 40 percent of illegal immigrants with visas overstay their visits.
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Christie says criticism of FedEx-like immigrant tracking is 'ridiculous'
AMES, IA - JULY 18: Republican presidential hopeful and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee fields questions at The Family Leadership Summit at Stephens Auditorium on July 18, 2015 in Ames, Iowa. According to the organizers the purpose of The Family Leadership Summit is to inspire, motivate, and educate conservatives. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida and Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidate, speaks to the media following a campaign stop outside a residence in Washington, Iowa, U.S., on Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Bush, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul are leading the Republican pack as most electable against Democrat Hillary Clinton in three swing states, according to a new poll with provocative implications for the crowded GOP primary. (Photo by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
AYR, SCOTLAND - JULY 30: Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump visits his Scottish golf course Turnberry on July 30, 2015 in Ayr, Scotland. Donald Trump will answer questions from the media at a press conference where reporters will be limited to questions just about golf. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
AMES, IA - JULY 18: Republican presidential hopeful Senator Ted Cruz of Texas fields questions at The Family Leadership Summit at Stephens Auditorium on July 18, 2015 in Ames, Iowa. According to the organizers the purpose of The Family Leadership Summit is to inspire, motivate, and educate conservatives. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Ben Carson, Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidate, pauses while speaking during The Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, July 18, 2015. The sponsor, The FAMiLY LEADER, is a "pro-family, pro-marriage, pro-life organization which champions the principle that God is the ultimate leader of the family." (Photo by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
AMES, IA - JULY 18: Republican presidential candidate Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker fields questions at The Family Leadership Summit at Stephens Auditorium on July 18, 2015 in Ames, Iowa. According to the organizers, the purpose of The Family Leadership Summit is to inspire, motivate, and educate conservatives. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, speaks during the Faith and Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" conference in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, June 19, 2015. The annual Faith & Freedom Coalition Policy Conference gives top-tier presidential contenders as well as long shots a chance to compete for the large evangelical Christian base in the crowded Republican primary contest. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
John Kasich, governor of Ohio, speaks while announcing he will seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in Columbus, Ohio, U.S., on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Kasich, seeking to emerge from a crowded Republican presidential field as a practical and compassionate leader from a must-win swing state, is joins 15 other Republicans who have declared their candidacies. (Photo by Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) does a live interview with ABC News in the Russell Senate Office Building rotunda on Capitol Hill June 1, 2015 in Washington, DC. In protest of the National Security Agency's sweeping program to collect U.S. citizens' telephone metadata, Paul blocked an extension of some parts of the USA PATRIOT Act, allowing them to lapse at 12:01 a.m. Monday. The Senate will continue to work to restore the lapsed authorities by amending a House version of the bill and getting it to President Obama later this week. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida and 2016 U.S. presidential candidate, waits to begin a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Senator Bob Corker, a key player in the congressional debate over the nuclear deal with Iran, told Secretary of State John Kerry that the Obama administration is engaging in hyperbole to sell it. (Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The governor, who is running well behind among the 17 contenders in the Republican White House race, sought to draw a distinction between his proposal and what he called Republican frontrunner Donald Trump's "simplistic" idea on how to deal with an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.
Trump, who has a 21-point lead over his closest Republican rival, Mike Huckabee, according to a Reuters/Ipsos survey, has said he would deport undocumented immigrants and build a wall between the United States and Mexico.
"I've put forward a much more detailed proposal than that," said Christie, adding that the presidential race was "not only about personality. It's also about ideas. And it's about who can get it done."
Christie has said he would ask FedEx Chief Executive Officer Fred Smith to devise the tracking system. A FedEx spokeswoman declined to comment on his remarks.
Trump's railing about illegal immigrants has prompted other Republicans to talk tougher on immigration but has also rattled Republican Party leaders who are desperate to attract support from Latino voters who have Democrat Hillary Clinton's pledge to seek citizenship for illegal immigrants if elected in 2016.
On NBC's "Meet the Press" program, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said he would be open to building a wall along the U.S. border with Canada -- not just the southern border with Mexico.
"Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire. They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at," he said.