SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, issues the following statement:
“I enthusiastically commend the U.S. Senate for working in such an admirable, pragmatic, and most importantly, bipartisan fashion yesterday by passing the FIRST STEP Act with an overwhelming majority. Likewise, President Trump deserves a great deal of credit for championing this historic piece of legislation, as does Jared and Ivanka Kushner, who worked diligently behind the scenes with both parties, as well as with faith and minority communities like the NHCLC, to push this bill across the finish line.
“As I’ve said so many times before, Americans believe in second chances. It’s a part of our national character. The Bible likewise boldly states when talking about the new believer, ‘the old is gone, the new has come.’ If God holds out hope for each one of us, we must do the same as a nation. By expanding judicial flexibility to override sentencing minimums for non-violent offenders; through enhanced recidivism-reduction measures including faith-based programs; and common-sense reforms such as increasing access to halfway houses and other transitional opportunities, the FIRST STEP Act affirms this divine hope, that people can, and often do, change when given the opportunity. We thank God that yesterday, the U.S. Senate reflected the heart of the American people, and in so doing, proved that when we put aside partisan division and vitriol, we can come together for the good of the nation.”
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, executive producer of The Impossible with 20th Century Fox, and bestselling author of “Shake Free.” He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America.
The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is recognized and identified by Time Magazine, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Charisma Magazine, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, Fox News and CNN as America’s largest and most influential Hispanic/Latino Christian organization with 40,118 certified member churches in the United States and chapters in Latin America.