Donald Trump on immigration strategy: Deportation will be done in a very humane fashion

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," November 12, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, 'SPECIAL REPORT' HOST: Let's talk more about the immigration issue and the Republican presidential race with businessman and GOP presidential candidate, Donald Trump, who is also the author of the new book "Crippled America: how to make America great again" coming to us from Trump Tower in New York. Mr. Trump -- thanks for being here.


BAIER: You know, this whole issue of deportation has really become a central focus over the last few days. You had Hillary Clinton jump on this right away. Tweet out, she said, "The idea of tracking down and deporting11 million people is absurd, inhumane and unAmerican. No, Trump."

You told Bill O'Reilly last night the deportation program you favor would be quote "very humane". So what specifically do you have in mind there?

TRUMP: Well first of all, it's not only deportation. It's building a wall and I mean a real wall. Mexico will pay for the wall. Most politicians wouldn't understand how you go about doing that. It will happen.

It's basically quite simple. But it's going to be done in a very humane fashion. People will have to go out, they are illegal immigrants, they came in illegally. They have to go out and they have to come back legally.

Bret, there will be a deportation, and hopefully they'll be able to come back into the country.

BAIER: But you will you concede it will be logistically very difficult and very expensive.

TRUMP: Not if it's managed properly. And when you tell me expensive, you know, I watch Bush and I watched all of these guys talking about how you can't do it. And people like that can't do anything because they're not very confident people.

Between all of the different problems we have, illegal immigration is probably at about $300 billion a year. If we do this job right there shouldn't be a big court situation. Nobody knows legal situations better than Trump. I can tell you that.

But you shouldn't have a big legal situation. They came in legally and that's fine. But when they come in illegally, that's a whole different story. They're here illegally, you take them, they have to go back.

BAIER: Let me ask you about something else you said. Back in 2012, you criticized Mitt Romney's proposed self-deportation because you said it was crazy and too mean-spirited. So is self-deportation really crazy and too mean-spirited when compared to deportation?

TRUMP: No. I said it was crazy, because it doesn't work. He was talking about people are just going to walk out of the country. I didn't say that.

BAIER: But mean-spirited?

TRUMP: I said -- I criticized it because it's something that doesn't work. Yes, it's mean-spirited, it's mean-spirited. This doesn't work at all, Bret. This would never have worked. Look, I want people to go out and to have to come in through the legal process.

BAIER: If Mitt Romney was mean-spirited by what he said in the campaign in 2012, you're saying things have changed since then and what you're proposing is not mean-spirited?

TRUMP: No, I don't think it's mean-spirited. Mine is not mean- spirited. Mine is business. We have a country. You don't have a country if people are allowed to walk in, cross the border and stay here for as long as they want. You don't have a country. And everybody knows it.

I had one candidate say you're right. But I'm not going to take that on politically, ok. I'm not going to tell you who it is. But everybody knows I'm right. It's -- I don't even think it's tough. I'm saying this:
it will be done in a humane way. It will be done professionally. The people can come back in, but they have to come in through a legal process.

BAIER: One of your opponents, Ted Cruz, said today he now opposes any increases in legal immigration numbers. And that's a reversal of his earlier position. So do you think legal immigration should be restricted further?

TRUMP: I think that legal immigration is a good thing. If they come in legally, they go through a process, and if they come in legally, I think that's a good thing -- Bret.

BAIER: Ok. Again with Ted Cruz, today he was asked how he is different from you. And here's what he said in New Hampshire.


TED CRUZ, R, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the distinguishing factor that every Republican primary voter is looking for is distinguishing between campaign conservatives, people who talk a good game on the trail, but haven't walked the walk; and a consistent conservative. And I am the only candidate running who has been a consistent conservative.


BAIER: So what about that?

TRUMP: Well I'm the only campaign and I'm the only person that's running that's created tens of thousands of jobs over the years. I mean I look at the people on the dais, this isn't a knock on Ted or anybody else, because I like a lot of the people that I'm competing against. But I look at these people, they've never created a job. They've never done anything like that.

I've created tens of thousands of jobs, a tremendous company that's worth billions and billions of dollars -- many, many billions of dollars. That's got very low debt. That's got tremendous cash flows.

BAIER: You were in New Hampshire getting on the ballot there. And you were asked about Keystone and whether you were for it. Here's a piece of what you said.


TRUMP: More stuff coming out. It's good. Keep prices down, it's good. But I want a piece of the profits from the pipeline. See, right now, we're giving them oh, go ahead through our land. Go ahead. Come on, I want like 25 percent of the profits.


BAIER: So when somebody listens to that, looks at that and says, you know, it sounds a little bit like Venezuela. They have about 60 percent of all the foreign companies that are operating in that country. What do you say to them?

TRUMP: No, I think it sounds smart. That's what it sounds. Look, first of all Keystone, I'm totally in favor of it it's going to be tremendous amounts of jobs. You know, relatively small compared to the country. But I've heard anywhere from 20,000 -- 30,000 -- I hear 10,000. Whatever it is, it's a lot of jobs.

Environmentally it's very good. They will have to use eminent domain. You know, Keystone, all of these people talk about eminent domain, you wouldn't build two feet of pipe if you didn't use eminent domain. I don't like eminent domain but eminent domain has to be used for highways and bridges and roads. So Keystone is a very big eminent domain project.

But it's fine. Keystone is great. But you're selling Canadian product, ok, essentially. You're selling Canadian product. Now that's not so helpful to us. But they have to get through our land to go to the certain area where it's best for them. And I say that's all fine. We get away from the Middle East and everything is fine.

But I want a piece of the deal. I want a piece. When I say I want a piece, I'm now representing our country the way I would represent myself.

BAIER: A piece for the country.

TRUMP: I want a piece of the deal for the -- yes for the country. Not for myself.

BAIER: No, I know. I just want to clarify.

TRUMP: I would like that, too, but I don't think I would get away with that. I think I might not. I'd love that but I don't think I'd get away with it.

So I want a piece of the deal for the country. I'm representing now the country. And when they send that through, it's going to be an extremely profitable enterprise. We are giving them the power of eminent domain without which they could never do it. We're giving them all sorts of government approvals.

I want 25 percent of the profits for our country. So that if they make a fortune with it, that's good. If they don't, that's fine, too. I mean that's their problem. But if they make a lot of money the United States will benefit.

So I like the Keystone pipeline. It's a good thing for us. But I want a piece of the deal. That's something you've never heard from a politician. You know why? Because politicians don't think that way.

BAIER: Are there other foreign companies operating in the U.S. that you want a piece of their deal?

TRUMP: It's different. They were here a long time ago. These people are starting right now. In fact, it's even worse because Obama turned them down. Now, I would turn them up. I would say absolutely but we want 25 percent of your profits if I'm going to approve the deal.

BAIER: I want to clarify something that happened in the debate. There was a moment in which you were answering about the TPP. You've talked a lot about that deal and how horrible it is you say. And then Rand Paul came in and said but China is not in that deal. And it kind of just fell out. Then the Wall Street Journal weighed in.

Explain where you are and what the push-back is on this China element.

TRUMP: Ok. Well, the "Wall Street Journal" was absolutely wrong. They know they were wrong. People have said they were wrong and now a lot of stories came out and are coming out saying the Wall Street Journal made a bad mistake. I know TPP probably better than almost anybody. It's
6,000 pages. I'm totally against it.

I know that China's not a part of TPP. But I say and I've been saying that China is going like they always do, because they are much smarter than our representatives. They're going to come in through the back door eventually and they're going to get the best of TPP.

Now Rand Paul, who doesn't know anything -- I mean this guy doesn't have a clue. He's way down on the end of the platform where he should be because that means he has low numbers. And he turns away from his microphone and he said something, trying to make a point to get a little credit. He ought to go back to Kentucky and run for the Senate. That's what he should do.

He looks at me and says something. I didn't hear anything. But he said about China, that China is not in the deal. Now who knows that better than me? So today the Wall Street Journal does an editorial that Trump didn't know that China was, that the whole mix-up with China.

I said to myself, isn't that a disgrace? Because I know that China's not a part of TPP. I also know they will be a part eventually because they're going to come in through the back door. I said it perfectly in the debate. We put the Wall Street Journal on notice.

Bret -- and I think the Wall Street Journal will apologize.

BAIER: In the debate you said wages are too high. What do you say to somebody in South Carolina where the median per capita income is only about $24,000 and wages are stagnant and costs are going up?

TRUMP: I didn't say that. Bret, we were talking about the minimum wage.


TRUMP: And they said should we increase the minimum wage? And I'm saying that if we're going to compete with other countries, we can't do that because the wages would be too high. You go to other countries where things are much less expensive including taxes. I also mentioned taxes on that.

I was referring to the minimum wage. People want to increase the minimum wage. And the Democrats want to do it because it's good politically. And I think it is good politically. It's hard for me to say this, because politically speaking it's a good thing.

I'll say raise the minimum wage to $15. Raise the minimum wage to whatever it might be. But the problem we have is that our country is losing businesses. You look at corporate inversions and all the things that are happening. We have to compete with the rest of the world.

The question was about the minimum wage. I'm not talking about wages being too high, I'm talking about minimum wage. And that was the question.

BAIER: Mr. Trump -- thanks as always for the time and we'll see you on the trail.

TRUMP: Thank you very much.

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