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Local leaders believe economy depends on immigration reform

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Local leaders believe economy depends on immigration reform

By Spencer Lubitz. CREATED May 27, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The future of the Las Vegas economy depends on national immigration reform.

That's according to Sen. Harry Reid and some of the biggest entities in Southern Nevada who are now working together to get a bill passed immediately.

Speaking alongside Reid in support of the bill were the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce and McCarran International Airport officials who said they will directly benefit from the funding included in the bill for the Tourism Promotion Act.

The bill also includes critical components to a visa waiver program which is why local gaming giant Caesars Entertainment is actively supporting it as well.

"From a business standpoint it could be a lot smoother," said Karlos LaSane, Caesars Entertainment Regional VP of Government Relations. "There are a number of huge, huge customers who come to the gaming market, that affects the bottom line, that would say, 'I'm not going to go through it. I'm not going to play. I'll go to Macau.' Quite frankly, it's closer. It's less of a hassle."

Reid said he was willing to accept that his congressional counterpart, Speaker John Boehner, simply doesn't trust President Obama.

But the senator said he's willing to work around that, suggesting they pass a bill now, which wouldn't go into effect until after the president leaves office.