Jobless push for visa reform http://www.computerworld.com/careertopics/careers/recruiting/story/0,10801,83888,00.html?from=imutopicheads The controversial L-1 and H-1B visas are under assault in Congress, in large part because of the activism of a group of laid-off Connecticut IT workers. Of the five bills that have been introduced this year to reform the two visa programs, three were written by Connecticut lawmakers. "We've heard quite a bit from constituents in our district concerned about losing their jobs," said Lesley Sillaman, a spokeswoman for Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who is seeking restrictions on L-1 visa use. The group DeLauro has been working with, the Organization for the Rights of American Workers (TORAW) in Meriden, Conn., was formed less than a year ago. One of the group's founders, James Pace, a laid-off IT consultant, learned the ropes of activism in the early 1970s, when he fought the state's motorcycle helmet law. "It all comes down to backyard politics," said Pace. Among other activities, TORAW attended an open forum meeting that Rep. Nancy Johnson held in her Connecticut district several months ago. Six TORAW members in the audience peppered Johnson with questions about the visa programs. "We took over the whole meeting," said Pace. Subsequent local newspaper coverage focused on offshore outsourcing. On July 28, Johnson, a Republican, joined Democratic Sen. Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut in sponsoring the USA Jobs Protection Act to reform the visa laws.