SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, lead pastor of New Season Church in California and President/CEO of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), one of the world's largest Latino Evangelical organizations, asked presumed Republican nominee Donald Trump to come to the table to discuss comprehensive immigration solutions, that include secure borders, but also a place for the millions of hard-working Latino immigrants who call the United States their home.
"To date Donald Trump's comments about immigration have been inflammatory, impractical and unhelpful," Rodriguez said. "Now that he is the presumptive nominee, we call upon him to immediately stop rhetorical commentary he has previously used that discredits groups, including Latino immigrants, and start discussing and offering real, productive solutions for comprehensive immigration reform."
In his victory speech following the Indiana primary, Trump spoke of reaching out to the Hispanic community. Rodriguez said now is the time to put action to his words and attempt to heal the hurt and damage his previous statements have caused.
"If Trump truly wants to make America 'a beautiful and loving country' then he must personally begin by treating all – black, white, Latino, male and female – as they deserve to be treated. For at the end of the day, every individual is made in the image of God and merits love and respect," Rodriguez said.
A recent internal survey of NHCLC members highlighted an important fact: Hispanic Evangelicals are still very much up for grabs in 2016. When asked which candidate they would vote for today, no one candidate on either side of the aisle had clearly locked their support. More than one-third of the evangelical Hispanics polled claimed that noone candidate – democrat or republican – clearly represents them at this point in the race and that policy is more important than rhetoric.
"This tells us that evangelical Hispanics are still making up their minds," said Rev. Rodriguez. "This is good news for the remaining candidates who will need their support in a general election, but will have to earn it.
"As we continue down the path in choosing our next president, may we remember that our great nation's future depends not on one man or one woman, but rather God," Rodriguez continued. "Now is the time to pray fervently, especially as we celebrate the National Day of Prayer tomorrow, for God to heal America and bring unity to us once again."
Rodriguez is President of NHCLC and author of the new book, "Be Light." NHCLC is the world's largest Hispanic Christian organization, serving as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another hundreds of thousands of congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. For additional information, visit http://www.nhclc.org.