Grassley touches on health care, immigration during GCMH stop

Robert Maharry

As one of the most powerful politicians in Washington, D.C., Senator Chuck Grassley has a lot on his plate these days, but the 84-year-old Iowa Republican still makes time for his signature 99-county tour each year. The bus stopped in Grundy Center on Monday morning, and patrons pressed the New Hartford native on health care, agriculture, immigration and the latest snafus involving President Donald Trump during an hour-long session at Grundy County Memorial Hospital.
Regarding the recent bipartisan meeting on immigration reform during which the president allegedly called Haiti and African nations “s***hole countries” and wondered aloud why the U.S. would want to accept people from those places, Grassley, who was not present, claimed that he has heard conflicting reports on whether or not Trump actually used the profane term.
“When you’ve got two senators that were there and said they didn’t hear it and two senators that said they did hear it, I wasn’t there. So I don’t know,” he said. “That detracts from (the conversation)… but I’m very much, as chairman of the judiciary committee, I’m very much involved in trying to get justice for these kids.”
The “kids” are those who would be protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and the comment originally sprung out of a question from Eric Neverman, a doctor of osteopathic medicine at the Unitypoint clinic in Grundy Center, on remaining open to immigration—especially from the majority Muslim countries targeted in Trump’s travel ban—because so many doctors come from the Middle East.
“The doctors aren’t trying to get here illegally,” Grassley said. “We have told people for so long that we’re going to control the borders, and then we don’t control the borders. So we in Congress saying those things, we don’t have credibility with the American people.”
The Senator later touted stopping chain migration, ending the diversity visa lottery and increasing border security as other solutions to the issue, which has been a lightning rod for controversy since Trump first announced his candidacy in 2015. 
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