DES MOINES — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says U.S. agencies on the southern border are becoming “really strained” by trying to accommodate the “skyrocketing” numbers of immigrants.

Grassley, a Republican, says the dramatic increase in immigrants is resulting in a corresponding rise in cases of their exploitation and death. Grassley says, “We must do more to enforce our immigration laws, but we must also meet the humanitarian needs in this ongoing crisis.”

Grassley says he joined a majority of his colleagues last week in voting for legislation designed to bring relief to the beleaguered masses on the U.S./Mexican border. Grassley says, “Congress passed a really bipartisan humanitarian aid bill to provide an additional $4.6 billion for migrant housing, medical care, and essential supplies, including diapers and things that babies need.”

Grassley says he’s supporting several bills aimed at keeping migrant families together and to prevent the abuse or exploitation of children who arrive at the border unaccompanied by an adult. “I’ve been investigating the treatment of migrants at housing facilities,” Grassley says. “I’ve also pushed agencies to complete background checks on potential sponsors before placing migrant children in their care.”

Grassley says the crisis at the border involves both security and humanitarian issues. “Republicans have taken the humanitarian crisis seriously,” Grassley says. “I wish Democrats would take border security as seriously.”