Milwaukee County pastors this evening praised President Trump as a champion of prison reform and American freedoms ahead of tonight’s Republican National Convention.

Pastor Jerome Smith, co-founder of the Joseph Project jobs training program, in a pre-convention event thanked Trump for his support of the federal First Step Act, a 2018 law meant to reform the prison system and reduce recidivism in the federal inmate population.

GOP U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is a partner with the Joseph Project. And Smith called Wisconsin part of the “land of opportunity,” thanks in part to Johnson and Trump’s efforts.

“If you really want it, you can have it and the Joseph Project is here for everybody,” he said. “And that’s thanks to people like Sen. Johnson… and the president with the First Step Act.”

Additionally, Greenfield Pastor Candie Herr called Trump “a man who puts himself out there” for the good of the nation.

She said she didn’t know him before he ran for office, but that she appreciates the “persecution” she felt he’s gone through to protect personal freedoms.

Herr, a Hmong immigrant, said she felt she was “muzzled” in the country for her religious beliefs before the president took office. She said she feared churches could lose their tax exempt status and thus had to watch what she said politically.

“I was feeling as a believer, as a pastor… that I was really being told not to speak freely,” she said. “I feel that after President Trump came in, that there was a relief. He knows the power of prayer.”

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