WASHINGTON, D.C. — Just because Minnesota now has two Democratic senators doesn’t mean that they are always going to see eye-to-eye, especially — it would seem — when it comes to immigration.
In two votes today on the Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2010, Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken ended up on opposite sides despite their shared caucus, with Franken allying himself with the Democratic leadership and Klobuchar largely bucking the party.
The first amendment, offered by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and championed by the GOP, would make the E-Verify system mandatory for all federal contractors. The original Senate version of the bill would have reauthorized E-Verify for three years, but would not have made it mandatory. E-Verify is an Internet-based system that allows employers to electronically check the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.
Klobuchar voted in favor of this amendment, which passed. Senate Republicans and a handful of more conservative Democrats joined her in supporting the mandatory use of E-Verify. Meanwhile, Franken and the Democratic leadership voted against the measure.
Neither Klobuchar nor Franker were immediately available for comment.
The second amendment, offered by Jim DeMint, R-S.C., would require the completion of at least 700 miles of reinforced fencing along the southwest border of the United States by Dec. 31, 2010.
This Republican-supported measure also passed with the help of Klobuchar, conservative Democrats and some Democrats from southwest-border states like California and Arizona.
Franken again sided with the Democratic leadership in voting against the measure.