Republican frontrunner Donald Trump maintained he would build a wall to keep out illegal immigrants but said Wednesday he wants a "lot of people to come in" through legal channels during an interview with CNN.
Asked by Wolf Blitzer about fellow Republican 2016 hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz's stance about not letting illegal immigrants back into the country once deported, Trump said he would want them back in if they're "very good people."
"I think you should let them come back," Trump said. "If they're very good people, you let them come back legally. I want people to come back. You know, I'm building a wall, but I want people to come in. I want immigrants to come in, but they have to come in legally. I want a lot of people to come in. I want to have really smart people, really good people, really hard workers come back in, but they have to come in legally, so I want people to come back into the country."
Cruz has adopted a hardline stance on immigration and is now one of Trump's strongest challengers for the GOP nomination, a race Trump has led since last summer. The Washington Post reports:
A number of Cruz's positions on immigration have shifted in the past few years. Cruz, who bills himself as a "champion of legal immigration," once supported doubling the caps on green cards and increasing the number of the visas for high tech workers – known as H1-B visas – fivefold. Cruz now wants new limits on legal immigration and to temporarily halt the H1-B program, which has been rife with reports of abuse. He introduced a bill to reform it this month.
As for the famous wall Trump has promised to build on the country's southern border, Blitzer asked how long it would take to construct.
"Very quickly," Trump said.