A Waco pastor who served as an advisor for the Donald Trump campaign will continue serving as that role for the now president-elect.
Christ the King Baptist Church Ramiro Pena said he was one of 15 Hispanic leaders from 12 states part of Trump’s National Advisory Hispanic Council. He gave input regarding policies, such as education, tax and trade reform and immigration.
He said the immigration discussion is centered on the 11.5 million undocumented immigrants who currently work, pay taxes and don't commit crimes.
"They're contributors to society at numerous levels. That gets discounted by people but these people we need in the workforce and to treat them with dignity, I think, is a number one goal and find a way to bring them out of the shadows so that they are productive members of society. It's something that I've been working on for a long time and I believe we will get there to a positive place in the administration,” Pena said.
He said on Wednesday morning, he received a call from the Trump campaign to continue his advisory role. Pena anticipates to travel to Washington D.C. for meetings in the future.
“I believe the final issue on what happens with the 11.5 million is not decided. That is being worked upon and will be worked in the first 100 days and going forward,” Pena said. "I hope to have and anticipate having a meaningful impact there."
According to Pena, Trump supporters and opponents have reached out to him regarding his advisory role. He said some have written they don’t understand the reason behind a pastor being as involved in this process.
Pena said when he was asked to be an advisor he could not decline.
"To have influence is a great opportunity and to give leadership is a great privilege and when called upon I couldn't say no," Pena said. "There are things we don't see eye to eye but that wouldn't keep me from having influence or giving advice, if called upon. I'm very grateful and humble to be called upon and to have a seat at the table,” Pena said.
The pastor voted for Trump to become the 45th president of the United States.
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