WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- County Executive Rob Astorino said while he supports careful screenings of anyone coming to the United States, he opposes a religious test to determine who enters the country.
Astorino made his remarks to about 200 Muslim Americans during a visit to the Andalusia School, an Islamic School in Yonkers. Astorino's speech came in the wake of President Donald Trump's executive order that suspended entry from seven Muslim-majority countries. The order was recently rejected by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
"Not only are you welcome here, but the contributions of our Muslim-American community are essential here," Astorino said. “I wanted to be sure you know I am not silent. I would never support a religious test on who comes into this country."
Astorino said he is proud of Westchester's great diversity and that the contributions Muslims have made to Westchester.
"You are lawyers and doctors, teachers and business owners, bus drivers and service workers, mothers, and fathers," Astorino said. "You work hard, raise families, play by the rules and deserve respect. You are the American dream."
The county executive, who endorsed Trump in the presidential election, said Muslims are the most frequent victims of terrorist attacks.
"That’s why it’s incumbent on us to stand together on our shared values, love of peace, and on one of the great founding principles of this wonderful nation – the freedom of religion," Astorino said. "We should all continue to commit to making our community and our country stronger. We do that working together, trusting and respecting one another."
To view Astorino's entire speech, click here .