About OFIR - Oregonians For Immigration Reform
Oregonians for Immigration Reform was organized in 2000 by Frank Brehm, Jim Ludwick, and Elizabeth Van Staaveren. There had been an earlier organization of the same name, led by Sharon Sheppard, which functioned from about 1993 to 1997.
In January 2000, plans for organizing a new OFIR began to be laid. In June 2000, a letter was mailed to prospective members inviting them to join together in creating OFIR. On the basis of positive responses, the first meeting was held on Sept. 18, 2000, in Wilsonville. The group functioned for several months informally, without officers, although by-laws were adopted at the Feb. 24, 2001 meeting. At the meeting on June 2, 2001, Vern Cook brought up the need for a titular head of OFIR, and members voted to name these officers temporarily: Jim Ludwick, President; Frank Brehm, Vice President; Elizabeth Van Staaveren, Secretary and Treasurer. At the meeting on Nov. 10, 2001, those officers were formally elected.
There have been several changes in officers and Board members over the years. Jim Ludwick, a former President of Friends of Yamhill County, served as OFIR's President from June 2001 until November 2010, when Cynthia Kendoll was appointed by the Board to serve the remainder of his term which was to end in November 2011. Election of officers is biennial. In November 2011, Cynthia Kendoll was elected President of OFIR, Rick La Mountain will be Vice President and Lee Vasche will be Treasurer. Mr. Ludwick continues volunteer work with OFIR as Director of Communication and Legislative Liaison with the State Legislature.
All officers and Board members serve as unpaid volunteers. Some of their expenses are reimbursed when occasioned by OFIR duties. Due to the growth of membership in recent years, a bookkeeper is employed to manage financial records of OFIR and OFIR PAC. OFIR does not receive any grants from government or private foundations, unlike the many organizations and lobbies advocating for massive immigration and illegal immigrants. OFIR is a group of citizens concerned for the future of our country and working to assure that the national interest comes first in immigration matters -- specifically, that illegal immigration be reversed and legal immigration reduced to environmentally and socially sustainable numbers.
Since OFIR was established, immigration – especially illegal immigration – has become a much more visible issue state-wide and nationally. We count among our achievements, passage of the Oregon driver license bill in 2008, the defeat of bills granting instate tuition to illegal aliens introduced in each session of the state Legislature from 2003 through 2011, and the cessation of State cooperation with Mexico in issuance of the matricula consular ID cards to illegal aliens.
Principles of Oregonians for Immigration Reform
OFIR supports the Ten Principles for Immigration Reform enumerated by NumbersUSA:
10 Principles for Immigration Reform
We call on Congress and the President to enact and enforce immigration laws that are consistent with them and to oppose all legislation and policies that violate them.
1. The purpose of U.S. immigration policy is to benefit the citizens of the United States.
2. Since immigration policy can profoundly shape a country, it should be set by deliberate actions, not by accident or acquiescence, with careful consideration to ensure that it does not adversely affect the quality of life of American citizens and their communities.
3. Immigration policy should be based on and adhere to the rule of law. Immigration laws must be enforced consistently and uniformly throughout the United States.
4. Non-citizens enter the United States as guests and must obey the rules governing their entry. The U.S. government must track the entry, stay, and departure of all visa-holders to ensure that they comply fully with the terms of their visas, or to remove them if they fail to comply.
5. The borders of the United States must be physically secured at the earliest possible time. An effective barrier to the illegal entry of both aliens and contraband is vital to U.S. security.
6. Those responsible for facilitating illegal immigration shall be sought, arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law and shall forfeit any profits from such activity. This applies to smugglers and traffickers of people, as well as to those involved in the production, procurement, distribution, or use of fraudulent or counterfeit documents.
7. U.S. employers shall be given a simple and streamlined process to determine whether employees are legally eligible to work. Employers who obey the law shall be protected both from liability and from unfair competition by those who violate immigration law. The violators shall be subject to fines and taxes in excess of what they would have paid to employ U.S. citizens and legal residents for the same work.
8. Those who enter or remain in the United States in violation of the law shall be detained and removed expeditiously. Illegal aliens shall not accrue any benefit, including U.S. citizenship, as a result of their illegal entry or presence in the United States.
9. No federal, state or local entity shall reward individuals for violating immigration laws by granting public benefits or services, or by issuing or accepting any form of identification, or by providing any other assistance that facilitates unlawful presence or employment in this country. All federal and law enforcement agencies shall cooperate fully with federal immigration authorities, and shall report to such authorities any information they receive indicating that an individual may have violated immigration laws.
10. Illegal aliens currently in the United States may be afforded a one-time opportunity to leave the United States without penalty and seek permission to reenter legally if they qualify under existing law. Those who do not take advantage of this opportunity will be removed and permanently barred from returning.
OFIR also recommends FAIR’s (Federation for American Immigration Reform) Immigration Reform Agenda for the 112th Congress, as “a guide for ending illegal immigration, reducing legal immigration to a more sustainable level, and improving national security…”
OFIR endorses the following 5 primary steps recently proposed by NumbersUSA for adoption as positions by candidates for President:
- turning off the jobs magnet by requiring workplace verification of legal status (i.e., requiring all employers to use the existing but not-yet-mandatory program known as E-Verify);
- turning off various other magnets such as in-state tuition, drivers licenses and birthright citizenship;
- building an effective, physical fence on the Mexican border;
- deploying a reliable check-in/check-out system for visitors to the United States (i.e., fixing the current program known as US VISIT); and
- enforcing existing immigration and deportation laws