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Rodriguez: Republicans need to accommodate immigrants

Immigration remains a central issue for millions of Americans this election, but the issue was barely touched at either convention.

Eva Rodriguez, the National Hispanic Evangelical Women's president, said that many Hispanics are confused about this election. Rodriguez gave the closing prayer at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night.

How did you get invited to pray at the convention?

I know they were Googling names. I guess my name came up. I run the women's task of the National Hispanic Leadership Conference. They saw my videos and they also know my husband, Samuel Rodriguez. He's been with McCain a few times and they know each other personally.

Did they ask you to change the prayer at all?

They did not. I sent it in a week prior so they knew what they were getting into.

Do you have any sense of how Hispanic evangelicals will vote this year?

I think we're very confused this year. Out of all the elections, this has been a very difficult one to pick, because we have a brown person in the Democratic Party. You gotta be honest, it makes you proud. I think at the end of the day, you look at morals. It's awesome to have a brown person running. We always go back to morals.

Barack Obama doesn't have morals?

Well he does, but not to the extent that the Republican Party does – Marriage between a man and a woman and abortion. Those are the two main issues that have been brought up. Of course, immigration, John McCain has fought for.

What kind of immigration policy are you looking for?

We're looking for something in between, but we're not getting anything right now. I'm very disappointed because here, they haven't touched it. About 60 percent of the people in my congregation are immigrants. Our hope is that John McCain will continue on with immigration reform.

What do people think of Sarah Palin's candidacy?

We are very excited, not only because she's a woman, but her religious beliefs are there. When it comes to morals and having a woman I think has been awesome – awesome pick.

What do you think about the election so far?

I think immigration is going to be a big one. The Republican Party has to try to accommodate us a little bit. We're going to make the majority in a few years. They need to start thinking about us. We're going to be important, but in about eight years, we're going to be extremely important. We're talking about down the road, the Republican Party is going to have to change, whether they like it or not. They need to listen to McCain a little bit more. Hispanics are growing, we're moving up, we're going to college, our kids are graduating. Our votes are going to count.

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Posted:September 5, 2008 at 12:32PM
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Rodriguez: Republicans need to accommodate immigrants