Looking forward to 2018, there is much our nation can be hopeful about, even while soberly and humbly assessing our many challenges. In the spirit of the new year, it's important to dream, optimistically, with our eyes firmly fixed on what the coming year can and should look like for America. As such, I have five hopes for 2018:
1. Deliver a legislative solution for Dreamers before DACA's March expiration date
2. Rebuild, renew and restore Puerto Rico
3. Embark as a nation on criminal justice reform
4. Strengthen America's commitment to the sanctity of all life and religious liberty across every level of state and federal governments
5. Establish a congressional commission on racial reconciliation
These are dreams yes, but they are also practical and attainable. America's children—and yes, Dreamers are America's children—deserve to live without fear of deportation. Puerto Ricans must not be forgotten, but rather, we must continue the important work of rebuilding and restoring her. We are long overdue for criminal justice reform, racial reconciliation and the right to life and religious freedom for all. Let us begin to shore up the divides that have marked recent years and once again come together as one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.
Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez is the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
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