Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization, which serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches, made the following statement regarding President Donald J. Trump’s executive orders pertaining to immigration and the building of a wall:
“While I have had differences of opinion with the Trump Administration on how exactly to achieve our shared goal of securing our national borders, we at the NHCLC have made ourselves available to the Trump Administration throughout this process and have made our position clear.
“First, when President Trump builds his wall, he must also – and as passionately – build bridges with the Latino community. Secondly, we have made it clear that we will vigorously oppose any action that would forcibly remove the 11 million undocumented people living, working and raising their families in the United States with the exception of criminals, drug dealers and others who bring shame and pain on our community.
“I am grateful that our concerns have been met with both an open mind and a willingness to work together. In fact, after a call with the Trump transition team in December—a call organized by the NHCLC and which included other Hispanic heads of major denominations and networks—then President-elect Trump made it clear that he would not oppose DACA but would find a way to assist our young people.
“I agree with President Trump that securing our borders is critically important to ensuring the safety of all Americans. I also agree with the administration that the American people have a right to determine who comes into our country, and to demand that our laws are respected in the process. However, our goal and our continued focus at the NHCLC will be to ensure these policies are always balanced by a respect for the sanctity of all life and the well-being of the immigrant.”