About OFIR - Oregonians For Immigration Reform

OFIR's History

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, 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. In November 2011, Cynthia Kendoll was elected President of OFIR, and Richard F. La Mountain, Vice President, with Mr. Ludwick, retiring President, continuing to serve as Director of Communications and Legislative Liaison with the State Legislature.
Current (2020) officers are:  Richard F. LaMountain, President - Vice President, Janice Dysinger - Secretary, Lyneil Vandermolen - Director of Communications, Jim Ludwick.
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 part-time to manage financial records of OFIR and OFIR PAC. OFIR does not receive any grants from the government, unlike 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 stopped 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 2008 bill requiring proof of citizenship to obtain an Oregon driver license, and the defeat of bills granting instate tuition to illegal aliens introduced in each session in the state Legislature from 2003 through 2011.

The 2013 Oregon Legislature, despite OFIR's continued efforts to educate Legislators about the negative effects of such legislation, passed an in-state tuition bill for illegal alien students and included an emergency clause so that citizens could not contest the new law. It has already been implemented.

However, in 2014, OFIR launched a citizen's veto referendum petition drive to overturn SB 833 - a new law giving state issued photo ID, in the form of driver privilege cards, to illegal aliens. Protect Oregon Driver Licenses collected enough signatures from concerned citizens across the state to qualify for the November 2014 ballot as Ballot Measure 88.

Ballot Measure 88 was defeated with 66% of Oregonians voting NO - nearly a million voters!  Thirty five of thirty six counties defeated Measure 88. 

For more information about the Measure 88 campaign - please visit our dedicated campaign website: http://www.protectoregondl.org/

Most recently, OFIR worked to REPEAL Oregon's 31 year old sanctuary statute.  The Repeal Oregon's Sanctuary Law Committe, filed a citizen's initiative petition. Almost entirely a volunteer effort and collecting the required 88,000+ valid signatures, Initiative Petition 22 qualified in July 2018 to be on the Nov. 2018 General Election ballot.

As Ballot Measure 105, the YES on 105 campaign worked to educate the public about why the statute should be repealed.  But, opponents to our effort outspent us with an $8 million budget - to our $400k budget.  We did everything we could do with the resources we had available to us.  Unfortunately, our efforts were not successful and Measure 105 was defeated.

For more information about the Measure 105 campaign - please visit our dedicated campaign website: https://www.stoporegonsanctuaries.org/

Principles of Oregonians for Immigration Reform

Oregonians for Immigration Reform believes that the first duty of government is to protect the safety and well-being of its citizens. Every nation has the right to decide how many and which non-citizens may enter or settle there. Immigration laws exist to carry out that mandate, and must be written with the safety and well-being of citizens as the primary goal, then fully and faithfully enforced.
Every American citizen has the Constitutional right to advocate for immigration at levels they believe are appropriate. For the first 200 years of our nation we averaged about 236,000 immigrants per year, and we grew into the most successful nation in history.  Current immigration levels of over 1.5 million a year are unsustainable for us environmentally, socially, fiscally and politically.  Immigration at that level dissuades assimilation of new immigrants into becoming Americans.  We need to return to our traditional levels of immigration.
We believe that FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, is correct in stating:  “America has reached a point where perpetual growth cannot realistically continue within limited space. … without common sense limitations on immigration and the resulting population growth, virtually every social cause is a lost cause.”
Also, from NumbersUSA: “A succession of scientific and governmental commissions for three decades have come to the same conclusion - that there is a scientific rationale for stabilizing the U.S. population in order to meet environmental goals. While national environmental groups have dramatically changed their stance on U.S. population stabilization, government and scientific bodies have not. …”
FAIR issues an agenda for Congressional legislation periodically.  Here is the agenda for the 115th Congress (2017-2018):  ihttp://www.fairus.org/DocServer/GR/115th_Agenda_web.pdf.  This is a detailed list of steps needed to repair deficiencies and problems in the present immigration system.
OFIR also supports the recommendations of the Center for Immigration Studies’ expert on immigration law enforcement, in her testimony to Congress in March 2017, Restoring Enforcement of Our Nation's Immigration Laws, U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. 

Immigration bills in the Oregon Legislature that OFIR has addressed

Beginning in OFIR’s early years, the organization kept members informed about bills in the State Legislature and in Congress dealing with immigration.  Following is a list of bills in the Oregon Legislature that OFIR followed and on which its officers and members testified and/or campaigned.  In addition, OFIR officers and members participated in national campaigns led by FAIR and NumbersUSA regarding legislation in Congress. 

Bills related to immigration in the Oregon Legislature from 2003-2019:

2003 – SB 10, instate tuition

            HB 2578, proof of citizenship to obtain driver licenses

            HB 2051, repeal ORS 181.850

            HB 2813, proof of citizenship to vote

2005 – SB 769, instate tuition

            HB 2583, proof of citizenship to vote

            HB 2608, proof of citizenship to obtain driver licenses

            HB 2947, proof of citizenship to obtain driver licenses (this bill was preferred over HB 2608, see OFIR email of May 9, 2005: “HB 2608 is the bill to require proof of citizenship or legal residency in order to get an Oregon driver license."    

[OLIS records begin with 2007]       

2007 – HB 2705, instate tuition - by Rep. Cannon

            SB 424, Proof of citizenship to obtain driver licenses

            HB 2201, Healthy Kids (opposed by OFIR, benefitted illegal aliens)

            HB 2459, English language – by Rep. D.Nelson

            HB 2680, Requires prospective voter registrants to provide proof of citizenship.

            HB 2715, Basic pilot program (early version of E-Verify)

            HB 2827, Real I.D.

            HB 3358, deny tax deduction for wages to illegals

2008 – SB 1080, proof of citizenship to obtain driver license, passed (OFIR email of May 7, 2008 names Nay voters)

2009 – HB 2939, instate tuition

            HB 3364, Rapid Repat

            HB 3432, proof of citizenship to vote

            HB 2708, E-Verify

            HB 2815, passed – meaningless bill on tracking businesses that pay employees in cash

2011 – SB 742, instate tuition.  Passed Senate; had 2 House hearings but did not get out of Committee.  Discharge petition by Senators & Reps. failed.  A list of signers of discharge petition may be available.

            SB 845, driver privilege licenses (cards for illegal aliens)

            HB 2804,  proof of citizenship to vote – Thatcher, heard by Rules Cmte on 2-21, several testified.           

2013 – HB 2787, instate tuition – passed

            HB 2364 (Thatcher) and HB 3428 (Weidner), proof of citizenship to vote.

            SB 833, driver cards for illegals – passed; Referendum led by OFIR launched.

2014 – HB 4054, change ballot title of Referendum – failed

(effort to get Gov. Kitzhaber to join other Governors in suit against Obama amnesty, and not to give driver licenses to amnestied illegal aliens)

2015 – HB 2177, universal voter registration – passed

            HB 2043,  E-Verify – no hearings

            HB 3449, proof of citizenship to vote (Weidner)

            SB 932, instate tuition, Opportunity Grants for illegal aliens – passed.

             OR Attorney General writes misleading title for proposed Initiative on E-Verify.

             Lawsuit filed by illegal alien advocates to overturn M88 victory re driver licenses.

2017 – HB 2355, changed penalty for felony from 365 to 364 days excusing criminal aliens from deportation

            HB 3464, Privacy for illegal aliens, shielding from questions on img status

            SB 229, relating to elections, puts initiatives under thumb of legislature

            SB 558, Cover all kids (tax-paid medical care for children of illegal aliens)

2018 – HB 4111, driver licenses to some illegal aliens, DACA & TPS.   (passed)

            (OFIR spent most of the year promoting IP 22 /Measure 105, Stop Oregon Sanctuaries)

2019 – HB 2015, granting driver licenses to illegal aliens (passed)

            HB 2932, Privacy for criminal aliens (passed)

            SB 761, puts all IPs and Referenda in jeopardy through signature regulations (passed)SB 856, establishes New Americans office in Governor’s office to ensure delivery of benefits to legal and illegal immigrants. (failed)

            HB 3398, allowing lawsuits against law enforcement agencies  (failed)