Kim Thatcher

Oregon State Representative and Former Member of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI)

Since she was first elected to the Oregon House in 2004, Thatcher has openly associated with anti-immigrant and anti-government activists alike. She has introduced and supported a plethora of anti-immigrant legislation. At a 2006 rally, Thatcher blamed her state for giving “cover to too many people wreaking havoc on our society.”

  • Thatcher won her first Oregon House race in 2004 and it did not take her long to start working with Oregon’s largest anti-immigrant group, Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR). In 2006 she spoke at an anti-immigrant rally organized by the group. At the event, she told the crowd that the state was giving too much, “cover to too many people wreaking havoc on our society.”
  • A year later, Thatcher introduced a total of ten anti-immigrant bills, including making English the official language or Oregon, barring drives licenses for undocumented immigrants, and other harsh measures.
  • The same year, Thatcher joined a coalition of anti-immigrant elected officials called State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI), as a founding member. The coalition was started by Daryl Metcalfe of Pennsylvania. Soon after, SLLI entered into a “working partnership” with the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) in an effort to get anti-immigrant legislation, similar to the measures Thatcher championed in Oregon, passed at the state level across the country. Other SLLI founding members included Russell Pearce and Ken Cuccinelli.
  • In 2009, Thatcher introduced another slew of anti-immigrant legislation including enhanced cooperation with ICE and mandatory E-Verify implementation. This legislation, combined with the measures introduced two years prior, were all part of the anti-immigrant movement’s attrition through enforcement or “self-deportation” strategy designed to make daily life so hard for immigrants that they “self-deport,” either out of the state or out of the country.
  • The harshest of these measures was Arizona’s infamous SB 1070, authored by SLLI member Russell Pearce. In 2010, Thatcher and other SLLI members filed an amicus brief in defense of SB 1070.
  • In 2014, Thatcher teamed up again with OFIR, this time signing on as a “chief petitioner” for OFIR’s ballot measure campaign to overturn a newly signed law granting drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants.
  • With support from national anti-immigrant groups like FAIR, OFIR and Thatcher were successful in gathering enough signatures to qualify for the ballot measure. Oregon voted to rescind the law, handing OFIR, Thatcher and the larger anti-immigrant movement a substantial victory.
  • In the same election, Thatcher was elected to the Oregon Senate.
  • In 2015, Thatcher and other SLLI members signed on to an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit opposing President Obama’s DAPA and an expansion of the DACA program.
  • In 2017, Thatcher supported efforts by OFIR and national anti-immigrant groups to repeal Oregon’s decades-old sanctuary law. Thatcher issued a press release titled, “Illicit political correctness and so-called ‘Sanctuary State’ laws imperiling Oregonians, going further down this road is madness and engenders violence.”
  • In 2015, Thatcher appeared alongside anti-government leader Mike Vanderboegh, who founded the 3% movement. In his speech, Vanderboegh threatened Oregon Governor Kate Brown with violence, telling the crowd, “this country has long had a remedy for tyrants—a second amendment remedy. So be careful for what you wish for, Madam—you may get it.”
  • In a 2015 radio interview, Thatcher said of Portland, “Rueben I’m afraid you’re going to sound a little more intelligent on these details than I am because I haven’t really been paying that close of attention to Portland. Because I’m fine with letting them self destruct.”
  • In opposition to a bill that would expand Oregon’s welcoming status, Thatcher issued a press release, stating, “Oregon has a serious human trafficking and sex trafficking problem. We need to stop calling Oregon a sanctuary state because it’s not a sanctuary at all. We should be empowering law enforcement, not rapists and sex offenders. You have two choices, you either embrace the rule of law, or you embrace lawbreakers.”
  • Thatcher is a regular at OFIR events—a group whose leadership has a long history of demonizing immigrants.
  • Despite earlier failures to pass mandatory E-Verify in Oregon, Thatcher has continued to introduce the legislation. After Thatcher sponsored it in 2013, OFIR issued a release encouraging members to press their representatives to advance the bill, writing, “If they don’t hear from you, they will succumb to the pressure of the pro-illegal alien advocacy groups that are pushing for even more rights and benefits for foreign nationals illegally present in our country.”