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Sen. Al Franken
Voting Record
Updated February 25, 2018

This document is a record and analysis of all of Sen. Franken's immigration related congressional votes, cosponsorships and other immigration actions during his career in Congress.

Career Record

Usually supports higher immigration, population growth, foreign labor.

Sen. Franken's voting history is divided into five areas:

Chain Migration & Visa Lottery

Chain Migration & Visa Lottery

2015: Voted for the FY2016 Omnibus Spending bill to increase foreign workers and refugees Rep. Franken voted in favor of H.R. 2029, the Omnibus Spending bill for 2016. This legislation would increase the number of H-2B low-skilled, non-agricultural guest worker visas issued in 2016 from 66,000 to 264,000. It also increased funding for refugee resettlement to allow for an increase of 10,000 refugees in 2016.

Major Numbers in All Categories

Major Numbers in All Categories

Cosponsoring bill to reward illegal aliens with amnesty in 2009 Sen. Franken is a cosponsor of S 729, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors [DREAM] Act of 2007. S 729 would grant amnesty to illegal aliens under the age of 35 who have been in the United States for five consecutive years and came (illegally) to the United States before the age of 16. Such a reward for illegal immigration serves as an incentive for more illegal immigration.

Importing Specific Foreign Workers

Importing Specific Foreign Workers

Voted against granting President authority to expand immigration levels without Congress' consent via Trade Promotion Authority in 2015 Sen. Franken voted against final passage of Trade Promotion Authority bill, H.R. 2146. (NOTE: in order to pass TPA the House of Representatives split the original bill Senate-passed bill H.R. 1314 into two bills, one dealing with Trade Promotion Authority and one dealing with the TransPacific Partnership. As a result, when the legislation came back to the Senate for a final vote, the Senate had to attach the TPA language to another House-originated bill, H.R. 2146 and vote to pass that legislation). This legislation would set up fast-track procedures for the passage of trade deals negotiated by the president. Although Ambassador Froman, the U.S. Trade Representative, repeatedly assured Members of Congress that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will not include immigration provisions that require the United States to change its laws, the "Living Agreement" provision of TPP means by its very terms that President Obama, or his successor, can change the provisions of the agreement however he chooses with no input whatsoever from Congress and regardless of what TPA instructs. H.R. 2146 passed the Senate by a vote of 60-38.

Voted against granting President authority to expand immigration levels without Congress' consent via Trade Promotion Authority in 2015 Sen. Franken voted against final passage of Trade Promotion Authority bill, H.R. 1314. This legislation would set up fast-track procedures for the passage of trade deals negotiated by the president. Although Ambassador Froman, the U.S. Trade Representative, repeatedly assured Members of Congress that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will not include immigration provisions that require the United States to change its laws, the "Living Agreement" provision of TPP means by its very terms that President Obama, or his successor, can change the provisions of the agreement however he chooses with no input whatsoever from Congress and regardless of what TPA instructs. H.R. 1314 passed the Senate by a vote of 62-37.

Citizenship for Illegal Alien Babies

Citizenship for Illegal Alien Babies

Senator Franken has taken no action to reduce the rewarding of illegal immigration by giving citizenship
to anchor babies.

Inviting / Repelling Illegal Aliens

Inviting / Repelling Illegal Aliens

2015: Voted to protect Sanctuary Cities in 2015 (Vitter) Sen. Franken voted against cloture to open debate on S. 2146, the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act. This legislation would withhold certain federal funding from jurisdictions that enact sanctuary policies, require the Department of Homeland Security to create a public list of jurisdictions that have sanctuary policies in effect, protect local law enforcement from liability in holding criminal aliens for ICE pick-up, and increase penalties for illegal re-entry into the United States. The bill is sponsored by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.).

Voted to confirm Attorney General nominee who supports giving work permits to illegal aliens in 2015 Sen. Franken voted in favor of Loretta Lynch's confirmation as Attorney General. The Office of the Attorney General, the top law enforcement office in the country, is a position that should be reserved for qualified individuals with the utmost regard for the rule of law. Unfortunately, while Ms. Lynch served honorably as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, she indicated during the confirmation process that she did not have that regard for duly enacted immigration laws. She deemed "reasonable" President Obama's unprecedented and unconstitutional amnesties. Her dismissive attitude about the seriousness of enforcing immigration laws was largely explained in her initial answer to Senate questioning about whether the priority for U.S. jobs should be that they go to unlawfully present foreign workers or to legal workers of our nation. Ms. Lynch answered that everybody should be getting U.S. jobs regardless of their legal status, despite the fact that the primary purpose of immigration laws is to protect vulnerable American workers. As a result, NumbersUSA took an unusual step and scored the vote for the confirmation of Ms. Lynch as a vote against against the rule of law, and against the interests of American workers. Ms. Lynch was confirmed by a vote of 56 to 43.

Voted against McCain amendment supporting expedited removal of unaccompanied minors in 2015. Sen. Franken voted against the McCain amendment to the Senate Budget Resolution, S. Con. Res 11. Sen. McCain's original amendment called for the expedited removal of unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Those three countries were the source of the unprecedented border surge along the U.S.-Mexico border during the summer of 2014. But his original amendment also included a provision that would allow for the creation of in-country processing of "refugees" in those three countries. After NumbersUSA pointed out to Senators that the Central American migrants are not fleeing government persecution, and so do not qualify as refugees, but are instead seeking the benefits of the President's rewriting of our immigration law, Sen. McCain removed the in-country processing language, and NumbersUSA supported the amendment. Since the amendment was part of a Budget Resolution, it is non-binding and doesn't force a change in the current policy that allows unaccompanied minors from those three countries to be treated differently than those from Mexico or Canada. If the provision, however, remains in the budget resolution that's eventually approved by both chambers of Congress, it allows appropriators later to set spending levels for the 2016 fiscal year that call for the expedited removal of illegal aliens from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The amendment passed 58-to-42 (including the support of three Democrats and one Independent also Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Angus King of Maine, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

Voted FOR McConnell substitute amendment to H.R. 240 to fund Executive Amnesties Sen. Franken voted FOR the McConnell amendment to substitute the text of HR 240 with language that would provide full and unrestricted funding for President Obama's unconstitutional and illegal Executive Amnesties. After a series of 4 failed attempts to invoke cloture and move to debate on H.R. 240 (the House-passed DHS Appropriations bill that included language to de-fund Pres. Obama's Executive Amnesties), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) struck a deal with Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to move a "clean" DHS bill that would fund the amnesties through September 2015. Voting FOR the McConnell substitute amendment was a clear sign that a Senator was not willing to protect struggling American workers who will have to compete for scarce jobs with millions of unlawful immigrants. It was also a vote to cede Congress' constitutional powers to a President who has shown absolute disdain for the rule of law and the separation of powers at the very core of our Constitution. Senators cannot expect the judicial branch to reclaim the legislative powers for which they are unwilling to fight. The McConnell Amendment passed by a vote of 66 to 33.

Voted against motion to allow possibility of de-funding Executive Amnesty in DHS Appropriations bill in 2015 Sen. Franken voted against the Sessions/Lee motion to table the amendment tree on H.R. 240. After a series of 4 failed attempts to invoke cloture and move to debate on H.R. 240 (the House-passed DHS Appropriations bill that included language to de-fund Pres. Obama's Executive Amnesties), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) struck a deal with Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to move a "clean" DHS bill that would fund the amnesties through September 2015. As part of this deal, Majority Leader McConnell filled the amendment tree in order to provide full funding for President Obama's unconstitutional and illegal amnesties and block all other amendments to H.R. 240. This was especially outrageous given that Leader McConnell promised to restore regular order and an open amendment process when he became Senate Leader in January 2015. In response, Senators Sessions (R-AL) and Lee (R-UT) filed a motion to table the amendment tree, thus allowing amendments to the bill and the possibility of restoring the de-funding language. Thus, a vote against the Sessions/Lee motion to table the amendment tree was a vote FOR amnesty and lawlessness a vote for the open process. The Sessions/Lee motion to table failed by a vote of 34 to 65.

Voted AGAINST FOURTH Motion to Proceed to Debate on DHS Appropriations bill (H.R. 240) to defund Executive Amnesty in 2015 Sen. Franken voted AGAINST cloture to allow the Senate to proceed to debate on H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill that includes language to de-fund President Obama's Executive Amnesties, including DACA and his November 2014 amnesty that would provide legal status and work permits for up to 5 million illegal aliens. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 240 in January 2015 by a vote of 236-191. Despite campaign statements from several Democratic Senators in November 2014 opposing Executive Amnesty, none of the Senate Democrats voted to allow the bill to come to the Senate floor for debate because it contains language de-funding the amnesties. President Obama has repeatedly said he will veto any legislation that defunds his Executive Amnesties, including a DHS Appropriations bill. As a reminder, DHS was only funded on a short-term (3 months) basis during the CROmnibus spending fight in December 2014 to allow Republicans to attempt to de-fund Executive Amnesty once they took control of the House and Senate in the 114th Congress. DHS funding runs out at the end of February 2015 unless the Senate passes an Appropriations bill and sends it to the President's desk, forcing him to decide if he will shut down DHS funding in order to protect his Executive Amnesties. The vote on the FOURTH motion to proceed to debate failed by a vote of 47 - 46 (60 votes required for passage).

Voted against THIRD Motion to Proceed to Debate on DHS Appropriations bill (H.R. 240) to defund Executive Amnesty in 2015 Sen. Franken voted against cloture to allow the Senate to proceed to debate on H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill that includes language to de-fund President Obama's Executive Amnesties, including DACA and his November 2014 amnesty that would provide legal status and work permits for up to 5 million illegal aliens. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 240 in January 2015 by a vote of 236-191. Despite campaign statements from several Democratic Senators in November 2014 opposing Executive Amnesty, none of the Senate Democrats voted to allow the bill to come to the Senate floor for debate because it contains language de-funding the amnesties. President Obama has repeatedly said he will veto any legislation that defunds his Executive Amnesties, including a DHS Appropriations bill. As a reminder, DHS was only funded on a short-term (3 months) basis during the CROmnibus spending fight in December 2014 to allow Republicans to attempt to de-fund Executive Amnesty once they took control of the House and Senate in the 114th Congress. DHS funding runs out at the end of February 2015 unless the Senate passes an Appropriations bill and sends it to the President's desk, forcing him to decide if he will shut down DHS funding in order to protect his Executive Amnesties. The vote on the motion to proceed to debate failed by a vote of 52 - 47 (60 votes required for passage).

Voted for SECOND Motion to Proceed to Debate on DHS Appropriations bill (H.R. 240) to defund Executive Amnesty in 2015 Sen. Franken voted against cloture to allow the Senate to proceed to debate on H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill that includes language to de-fund President Obama's Executive Amnesties, including DACA and his November 2014 amnesty that would provide legal status and work permits for up to 5 million illegal aliens. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 240 in January 2015 by a vote of 236-191. Despite campaign statements from several Democratic Senators in November 2014 opposing Executive Amnesty, none of the Senate Democrats voted to allow the bill to come to the Senate floor for debate because it contains language de-funding the amnesties. President Obama has repeatedly said he will veto any legislation that defunds his Executive Amnesties, including a DHS Appropriations bill. As a reminder, DHS was only funded on a short-term (3 months) basis during the CROmnibus spending fight in December 2014 to allow Republicans to attempt to de-fund Executive Amnesty once they took control of the House and Senate in the 114th Congress. DHS funding runs out at the end of February 2015 unless the Senate passes an Appropriations bill and sends it to the President's desk, forcing him to decide if he will shut down DHS funding in order to protect his Executive Amnesties. The vote on the motion to proceed to debate failed by a vote of 53 - 47 (60 votes required for passage).

Voted against FIRST Motion to Proceed to Debate on DHS Appropriations bill (H.R. 240) to defund Executive Amnesty in 2015 Sen. Franken voted against cloture to allow the Senate to proceed to debate on H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill that includes language to de-fund President Obama's Executive Amnesties, including DACA and his November 2014 amnesty that would provide legal status and work permits for up to 5 million illegal aliens. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 240 in January 2015 by a vote of 236-191. Despite campaign statements from several Democratic Senators in November 2014 opposing Executive Amnesty, none of the Senate Democrats voted to allow the bill to come to the Senate floor for debate because it contains language de-funding the amnesties. President Obama has repeatedly said he will veto any legislation that defunds his Executive Amnesties, including a DHS Appropriations bill. As a reminder, DHS was only funded on a short-term (3 months) basis during the CROmnibus spending fight in December 2014 to allow Republicans to attempt to de-fund Executive Amnesty once they took control of the House and Senate in the 114th Congress. DHS funding runs out at the end of February 2015 unless the Senate passes an Appropriations bill and sends it to the President's desk, forcing him to decide if he will shut down DHS funding in order to protect his Executive Amnesties. The vote on the motion to proceed to debate failed by a vote of 51 - 48 (60 votes required for passage).

Voted in Committee against increasing border security in 2013 Sen. Franken voted as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee against the Sessions Amendment (#11) to S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The Sessions Amendment would have ensured that "effective control" specifically includes prevention of unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotic, and other contraband. The Sessions Amendment failed by a vote of 6-12.

Voted in committee against amendment to S. 744 ensuring operational control of Southern border in 2013 Sen. Franken voted as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee against the Cornyn Amendment (#1) to S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The Cornyn Amendment would mandate that the Department of Homeland Security achieve operational control of every sector, all 9 sectors of the Southern border, including the apprehension rate of at least 90 percent. This amendment would have added real "triggers" that would have require

Voted in committee in favor of amendment to S. 744 requiring completion of 700 miles of double layer border fencing in 2013 Sen. Franken voted as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee in favor of the Sesisons Amendment (#9) to S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The Sessions Amendment requires completion of the 700 miles of reinforced, double-layered fencing as a trigger before legalization for illegal aliens. (It is worth noting that this is already required by the Secure Fence Act of 2007 but has yet to be completed.) The Sessions Amendment failed by a vote of 6 to 12.

Voted in Committee against amendment to S. 744 requiring Federal government to reimburse states for detaining illegal aliens in 2013 Sen. Franken voted as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee against the Feinstein Amendment (#1) to S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The Feinstein Amendment amends S. 744 to require the Federal Government to reimburse states and localities for the costs states and localities incur detaining illegal aliens prior to incarceration. The Feinstein Amendment passed by a vote of 10-8.

Voted in Committee against strengthening border security measures of S. 744 in 2013 Sen. Franken voted as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee against the Cruz Amendment (#1) to S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The Cruz Amendment replaces Title I of the bill with specific border security requirements that shall be met before the Secretary of Homeland Security may process applications for registered immigrant status or blue card status and to avoid Department of Homeland Security budget reductions. Essentially, the Cruz amendment would have required border security triggers BEFORE legal status for illegal aliens. The Cruz Amendment failed by a vote of 5-13.

Voted in Committee against border security in 2013 Sen. Franken voted as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee against the Lee Amendment (#4) to S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The Lee Amendment requires fast-track congressional approval when the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies Congress of the implementation of the border security strategies and certifies that the strategies are substantially operational. Essentially, this would had amended the bill to include a Congressional check on the Secretary of Homeland Security who, according to the original language, simply had to submit a border security plan to Congress without receiving Congressional approval of the plan. The Lee Amendment failed by a vote of 6-12.

Voted in Senate Judiciary Committee in 2013 against requiring effective control of the border for six months before illegal aliens can receive amnesty. Sen. zzlastnamezz voted against the Grassley amendment to require Secretary of DHS to certify to Congress that the border had been secured for at least six months before amnesty can begin. This was an effort on the part of Sen. Grassley to ensure that the enforcement measures in the bill occurred before the legalization measures as originally promised by the Gang of Eight. The amendment failed by a vote of 6-to-12.

Voted in favor of the DREAM Act amnesty in 2010 Sen. Franken voted in favor of a motion to invoke cloture on the House-modified version of the DREAM Act amnesty. This modified version of the DREAM Act would allow any illegal alien under the age of 30 to receive an amnesty as long as he/she is of "good moral character" and intends to enroll in college/vocational school or join the military. Once an illegal alien qualifies for the DREAM amnesty (there will be little to no verification of the illegal alien's background and intent to pursue higher education), he/she will receive a 10 year work permit (during this time, he/she will be able to compete against American and legal immigrant workers for jobs). After 10 years, he/she will receive a full amnesty. The final number of illegal aliens who would benefit from the DREAM Amnesty is really unknown as future illegal aliens will be able to use fraudulent documents in order to receive the amnesty. The DREAM Act amnesty passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 216-198, but the Senate failed to invoke cloture, by a vote of 55-41 (60 votes are needed to break a filibuster), effectively killing the bill. By supporting this cloture vote, Sen. Franken put the wants of illegal aliens over the needs and livelihoods of Americans and legal immigrants.

Voted Against Arizona's Immigration Enforcement Law in 2010 Sen. Franken voted against the DeMint amendment to H.R. 4213, the American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010. The amendment, SA 4464, would have prevented the Department of Justice from participating in any lawsuit against Arizona's immigration enforcement law, SB 1070. Unfortunately, the amendment

Voted against the Cornyn amendment to H.R. 4899, the 2010 Emergency Supplemental bill Sen. Franken voted against the Cornyn amendment to H.R. 4899, the 2010 Emergency Supplemental bill. This amendment would have increased funding for drug enforcement along the Southwest border. The amendment failed 54-43 (a 3/5 vote was required for passage). By opposing this amendment, Sen. Franken was unwilling to help the DEA and DHS to apprehend drug smugglers in America's southern borderlands.

Voted against the Kyl amendment to H.R. 4899, the 2010 Emergency Supplemental bill Sen. Franken voted against the Kyl amendment to H.R. 4899, the 2010 Emergency Supplemental bill. This amendment would have increased resources within the Department of Justice to expedite immigration-related cases along the border. The amendment failed 54-44 (a 3/5 vote was required for passage).By opposing this amendment, Sen. Franken was unwilling to give the Justice Department enough funding to process the deportation of illegal aliens.

Voted against the McCain amendment to H.R. 4899, the 2010 Emergency Supplemental bill Sen. Franken voted against the McCain amendment to H.R. 4899, the 2010 Emergency Supplemental bill. This amendment would have funded the deployment of 6,000 National Guardsmen and women to the U.S. - Mexico border, thereby making it more difficult for human, drug, and arms traffickers to cross the border. The amendment failed 51-46 (a 3/5 vote was required for passage). By opposing this amendment, Sen. Franken was unwilling to help secure our nation's porous borders.

Voted in favor of sanctuary policies for illegal aliens in 2009 Sen. Franken voted to table an amendment (SA 2630) sponsored by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) to the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) spending bill (H.R. 2847). The Vitter Amendment, if adopted, would have prevented federal funds from going to states and municipalities with sanctuary policies in place that protect illegal aliens, criminal aliens, and, potentially, terrorists. Sanctuary policies bar public officials, including police officers, from asking an individual's immigration status and from reporting illegal aliens to federal authorities. In 1996, Congress passed a law that specifically prohibits state and local governments from enacting sanctuary policies. Despite that, cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston, still have sanctuary policies in place. Maine is the only state with a sanctuary policy. The Vitter Amendment would have been a huge incentive for states and municipalities to rescind their sanctuary policies. The vote to table the Vitter Amendment passed 61 to 38 (7 October 2009, 5:56 PM), effectively killing the amendment.

Opposed an amendment to complete 700 miles of border fencing in 2009 Sen. Franken opposed the DeMint amendment to H.R. 2892, the DHS Appropriations bill. The DeMint amendment mandates that the 700 miles of border fencing (which was previously approved and appropriated for) be completed. The DeMint amendment passed 54-44.

Opposed an amendment to permanently reauthorize the E-Verify system in 2009 Sen. Franken supported a motion to table the Sessions amendment to H.R. 2892, the DHS Appropriations bill (by supporting the motion to table, the Senator was opposing the amendment). The Sessions amendment authorizes E-Verify permanently, mandates that any business getting a federal contract must run all new hires through E-Verify, and mandates that every existing employee who works on the government contracts must be run through E-Verify. Thus, for the first time, E-Verify can be used to root out illegal aliens who were previously hired. The existing employee provision only applies to that part of a company actually working on the government contract. The motion to table the Sessions amendment failed 44-53 and the amendment passed via a voice vote. By opposing the Sessions amendment the Senator voted to give American jobs to illegal aliens.

Cosponsoring a bill to create an amnesty for illegal agricultural workers in 2009 Sen. Franken is a cosponsor of S. 1038, the Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits and Security Act of 2009. This bill is an amnesty for agricultural workers. Of the 1.2 million illegal aliens currently working in agriculture, an estimated 860,000 plus their spouses and children could qualify for this amnesty, so the total could reach three million or more. The potential recipients of the amnesty will be required to prove at least 863 hours or 150 work days of agricultural employment in two preceding years. H.R. 2414 would, subsequently, allow these “blue card” illegal aliens to apply for legal residency (i.e., amnesty), provided they demonstrate that they have worked in agriculture here: (1) 100 work days per year each of the first five years following enactment; (2) 150 work days per year each of the first three years following enactment; or (3) over the course of the first four years after enactment, 150 work days per year for three of those years and 100 work days for the other. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is the bill's main sponsor.

Senator Al Franken

Al Franken

Senator, Democrat

MN

Served in Senate: 2009-2018