Trump: We're Going to Follow Immigration Law, But 'There Certainly Can Be a Softening'

By Susan Jones | August 24, 2016 | 6:33am EDT
In this Aug. 22, 2106 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump meets with active and retired law enforcement in Akron, Ohio. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

( - When it comes to illegal immigration, "We are going to follow the laws of the country," Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told Sean Hannity on Tuesday. But he also left room for "a softening," saying he doesn't want to "hurt people."

Following the law means illegal aliens will have to go back to their native countries, Hannity told Trump.

"We are going to follow the law," Trump repeated. "And we're going to see who people are. We're going to see how they've done. Do you believe in a merit system, Sean? When people come in, as an example, do you believe in a merit system?

"One of the things that's very unfair with leaving people (in the U.S.) is that you have years and years of people waiting on line. They've gone through a process, and they've -- they've filed...legally, they've filed. And they're great people in some cases. I guess in some cases, maybe not. But you have really great people wanting and so proudly wanting to come into our country. And now what you'd be doing is, you'd take people away from that line. And it's really something..."

Hannity interrupted: "Is there any part of the law that you might be able to change that would accommodate those people that contribute to society, have been law-abiding, have kids here? Would there be any room in your mind, or are you -- because I know you had a meeting this week with Hispanic leaders."

"I did. I did. I had a meeting with great people, great Hispanic leaders," Trump said. "And there certainly can be a softening because we're not looking to hurt people. We want people -- we have some great people in this country. We have some great, great people in this country. So but we're going to follow the laws of this country. And you know, what people don't realize -- what people don't realize, we have very, very strong laws."

"Yes, but Obama doesn't follow them," Hannity interjected.

"Yes, they don't follow them. But we're going to follow the laws," Trump insisted.

Trump told Hannity that illegal aliens who belong to gangs will be out on "day one."  But as for the "great people" who "shouldn't be here," Trump said again, "We want to follow the laws."

"You know, we have very strong laws," he said. "We have very strong laws in this country. And I don't know if you know, but Bush and even Obama sends people back. Now, we can be more aggressive in that, but we want to follow the laws. If you start going around trying to make new laws in this country, it's a process that's brutal. We want to follow the laws of the country. And if we follow the laws, we can do what we have to do."

As for his promise to build a big wall on the southern border, Trump said, "it's going to happen."

"And it gets higher and higher and higher every time somebody says I'm not going to build it," he added.

Trump said people who overstay their visas must be tracked and removed from the U.S.

And Trump's response to a question about stopping illegal immigration from countries with sharia law was, "Boom, out."

"Out," Hannity repeated.

"Over, over, over, out," Trump said.

Also See:
Trump's evolving immigration plan compared to Clinton, Obama
Trump Advisers: Trump 'Wrestling' With What to Do About 11M Illegal Aliens

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