The International Franchise Association has launched an integrated advocacy campaign to "voice the needs of franchise business owners in the national debate over immigration reform."

According to the association, immigration reform should include a market-driven solution to ensure an ample supply of "essential, lesser-skilled" workers accessible to franchise businesses.

IFA president and CEO Steve Caldeira and Jerry Howard, CEO of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) penned an op-ed in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal to advocate for a new guest worker program that allows employers the flexibility and labor to adapt to economic changes.

Additionally, Patrick Walls, president of the Las Vegas-based Capriotti's Sandwich Shop Inc., wrote in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that: "America's economic future depends on franchises such as Capriotti's being able to invest, expand and hire. Comprehensive immigration reform could be the catalyst that drives that growth, as long as it is actually comprehensive and true reform."

Franchise industry leaders also recently held a roundtable discussion with business owners about current workforce limitations and the potential impact of immigration reform that they say "misses the mark."

IFA is embarking on a listening tour to engage local franchisees and the media throughout the country on this topic, with an event in Phoenix April 21-24 during the Restaurant Leadership Conference, and continuing in other cities across the country throughout the next several weeks and months.

IFA's campaign has already included meetings with more than 20 offices in both the House and Senate about the needs of the franchising community for comprehensive immigration reform.

Read more about franchising news.

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