Senate Democrats

Reid Calls for Real Security, Immigration Reform

LAS VEGAS, NVSenator Harry Reid (D-NV) met with workers and business leaders in Las Vegas today to discuss improving national security and immigration policies.

Reid met with over 100 hotel industry employees, Culinary Union members, small business owners and resort executives today to talk about immigration reform. The Senate will begin work on sweeping immigration reform measures early next week.

Reid called the U.S. immigration system “broken,” and called for comprehensive reforms that improve national security while protecting the economy.

“We are a nation founded by immigrants, and a nation that continues to thrive because of immigrants,” said Reid. “Our economy needs immigrants and benefits from them. But our immigration system is broken, and our laws are out of step with our national security needs.”

The meeting was held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Reid was joined by MGM MIRAGE Executive Jovita Thomas-Williams, Culinary Union President Geoconda Argüello-Kline, and David Dahan, a naturalized American citizen who is now a successful small business owner in Las Vegas.

“Southern Nevada’s continued economic vitality depends in large part on the ability of businesses to fill the jobs necessary to expand their operations and keep up with demand,” said Christina Dugan, Vice President of Public Affairs for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. “Through immigration reform that will allow employers to tap into this large pool of potential workers, we can help solve our workforce shortage issues and ensure that businesses, particularly in the construction and service industries, can continue to grow and thrive.”

“Las Vegas was built by immigrant workers. Immigrant workers make the beds, build the houses and casinos that keep the economy going, and serve the meals,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, President of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226. “Congress needs to pass comprehensive immigration reform for immigrant workers that will keep our economy going.”

“As an employer of over 70,000 people, we believe that immigration laws should protect our borders and work to secure the safety of every person living in our country,” said Jovita Thomas-Williams, MGM MIRAGE Executive. “However, we also believe that we should be cautious not to punish those individuals who are in our country in a legal manner.”

After the meeting, Reid left for a tour of the U.S.-Mexico border. ###