MASON CITY — Ohio congressman and Democratic presidential candidate Tim Ryan dismissed Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley’s comments about Democrats not taking border security as seriously as Republicans during a stop in Mason City on Tuesday.

“That’s an unfair comment. Clearly we have members of Congress down on the border who are connected to many of these communities. I think this is the kind of rhetoric that isn’t helpful in this situation, we need to come together and solve the problem.”

Ryan says President Trump need to be more of a leader on the border issue.    “He’s not, he’s being more divisive than anything. We need to come together. This is a humanitarian crisis that’s happening on our borders. Let’s do the mature thing, come together, solve the problem.”

Ryan says he’d like to see Trump galvanize the country to say putting children’s health at risk at the border is intolerable. “Kids laying with the flu for weeks, in their own snot, diapers not changed, it’s really unacceptable. There’s no reason why he can’t challenge doctors and nurses to come help put a Band-Aid on this in the short-term and fix the problem. This is a solvable problem. We need the resources down there but we’re already spending a lot of money and clearly it’s not being spent wisely, and this really is unacceptable.”

Ryan says he supports strengthening border security and an immigration process in the United States that is not only economically viable but also passionate. “Where I would start as president is put some money into Central America where the problem is, help stabilize these countries. We can spend a few million down there as opposed to billions up here dealing with people once they get to the border. Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador…Honduras doesn’t even have an ambassador, and the president saying we should cut foreign aid for the very programs that would help us stabilize those countries solve the problem.”

Ryan made two stops in Mason City on Tuesday afternoon, touring the Golden Grain ethanol plant and then holding an education round-table at HyVee East.