Missouri’s two United States senators say they oppose the immigration bill being debated in Washington, though one voted to bring the bill back for debate

Senator Bond was one of 64 senators who voted to bring the immigration bill back to the Senate floor for debate, but he insists that doesn’t mean he supports it. Bond says the more exposure the bill gets the less support it will attract.

The 64 to 35 vote on Tuesday allowed the legislation to return to the Senate floor after a three-week break. The procedural vote barely cleared the 60-vote minimum required. It is unclear whether all 64 senators who voted to debate the bill support it. The immigration bill is subject to at least 26 amendments. Even after those amendments are debate, opponents have threatened a filibuster. Sixty votes would be needed to end any filibuster so a final vote could be taken on the bill Friday.

Bond says he understands that the tactic to bring the bill back for debate has risks. He says he doesn’t know whether the votes are there to kill the bill or not. Bond says he opposes the provision that would allow illegal aliens to become American citizens. He says that undermines the legal process of becoming a citizen. Bond says the path to citizenship provisions would have to be taken out and illegal aliens would have to be barred from social service benefits for him to support the bill. Bond also favors having illegal immigrants now in the country register as temporary workers.

Bond’s vote to bring the bill back for debate "mildly surprised" Senator McCaskill, who believes Bond and other Republican senators are under pressure to reconsider their vote.  She says the Bush Administration and the Chamber of Commerce as well as others are putting tremendous pressure on senators to support the measure.

McCaskill says she has been against the immigration bill from Day One and isn’t about to change her stance. McCaskill says the bill gives a free pass to businesses that employ illegal aliens. McCaskill says it is very difficult to deter illegal immigrants, but it is easier to deter American companies from hiring them.

Download/listen Brent Martin reports (:60 MP3)