A Latino evangelical pastor says he met with likely GOP presidential nominee, Donald Trump, earlier this month and that the mogul said he would work with faith leaders to draft an immigration policy.
Rev. Mario Bramnick was one of about five pastors of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds who met with the candidate at his office in Trump Towers on May 11.
The pastor – a Cuban-American from Florida who was representing the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), which has more than 40,000 member churches – said that in the half-hour discussion with Trump, Bramnick raised the issue of undocumented immigrants.
Bramnick, who had advised the campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz, said that Trump seemed sympathetic and interested in what he was saying.
“I brought up our platform on immigration,” Bramnick told Fox News Latino. “We agree we need to secure our borders. What we spent time on was concern with undocumented immigrants here who are good people, who are not criminals, who are not a concern for the safety of our nation.”
NHCLC’s president, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, has spoken out against Trump previously, taking aim at the candidate’s pointed criticism of Mexico and his depiction of people who cross the border illegally as rapists and murderers.
Rodriguez has said that Latino evangelicals are more divided than their white counterparts about Trump.
The real estate mogul repeatedly has vowed to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and to put into effect mass deportation.
Rodriguez and his organization have called for immigration reform that would tighten border security but also provide a path to legal status for undocumented migrants.
“He seemed legitimately concerned with the plight of the undocumented,” Bramnick said. “In our communication, he was aware of the problem and seemed to want to work with us to find an equitable solution to a legitimate problem.”
The pastors then met with Trump’s son, Eric, for another half-hour, Bramnick said.
He added that he has had more discussions since with Trump’s campaign and discussed being part of advisory groups that will be work with the campaign on such things as immigration.
Trump did not go into detail about what he might be willing to do or consider in terms of reforming immigration, Bramnick said.
On Friday, pre-recorded videos by both Trump and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton were shown at the NHCLC annual meeting in California. In it, Trump said that as president he would make efforts that would benefit Hispanics, such as creating jobs and giving tax cuts to the middle class. He did not mention his most controversial immigration promises.
In her message, Clinton vowed to reform immigration in a way that would stop the separation of families that occurs through deportations.
Bramnick said that he would have liked Trump to have said more about immigration in the video.
Rodriguez told reporters before the organization’s California conference that he hoped Trump would apologize for comments that offended Latinos and immigrants.
“We hope that as we talk further that those other issues will be addressed,” Bramnick said.
As for Clinton, Bramnick said that the Democratic Party has failed immigrants too. President Barack Obama did not bring about reform, he pointed out, despite having both chambers of Congress Democrat-controlled during his first two years.
“Movement seems to be made only on the eve of an election," Bramnick told FNL, "when they see they need the Latino vote.”
In a related matter,Trump’s chief campaign strategist, Paul Manafort, met last week with senior GOP congressional staffers to assure them, among other things, that his candidate would make a strong effort to gain Latino support, according to Politico.
Elizabeth Llorente is Senior Reporter for FoxNews.com, and can be reached at Elizabeth.Llorente@Foxnews.com. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Llorente.