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Grassley: Iowa can't afford to be 'babysitting' unaccompanied minors

Grassley: Iowa can't afford to be 'babysitting' unaccompanied minors
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley asks Blinken to provide potential conflicts involving John Kerry Overnight Defense: Gillibrand makes new push for military sexual assault reform | US troops begin leaving Afghanistan | Biden budget delay pushes back annual defense policy bill Gillibrand makes new push for military sexual assault reform MORE (R-Iowa) on Wednesday became the latest Republican to come out against his state housing unaccompanied minors who have arrived at the southern border.

Grassley said in comments reported by the Des Moines Register that he agreed with Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), who told a radio station last week that she had declined a federal request to house migrants in Iowa.

"Iowa has a long history of accepting refugees from Gov. [Robert] Ray's time in office, and I'm sure that we're going to continue to take refugees," he said, according to the Register. "But refugees won't need babysitting by the ... state government, like the requests to take these migrant kids."

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He went on to hammer the Biden administration over the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, and referenced news that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents had apprehended two Yemeni men on the southern border who appeared on a FBI terror watchlist over the past two months.

"From a humanitarian standpoint, it's a crisis," he said, according to the newspaper. "From a public health standpoint, it's a crisis. It's a national security crisis when they arrest terrorists on our list coming from Yemen."

"It's a law enforcement crisis, not just because of the people coming over, but because of the drugs that can get in when our border patrol can't be there," the senator continued.

Iowa joined several other GOP-led states last week in refusing to house unaccompanied migrant children at state-run group care facilities and foster homes. South Carolina's governor went a step further and issued an executive order directing officials in his state to refuse such requests from the federal government.

"We don't have the facilities. We are not set up to do that," Iowa's governor said last week, according to the Register. "This is not our problem. This is the president's problem. He is the one that opened the borders. He needs to be responsible for this, and he needs to stop it."