The Boise Bubble Podcast

Episode 84: Refugees in Idaho

February 21st, 2024

In this episode we are chatting with Holly Beech, Communications Manager at the Idaho Office for Refugees. In this conversation we learned why Idaho is known throughout the country as having one of the best refugee programs, why Idaho is involved with refugee settlement, and how we can best support these members of our community. This discussion convinced us that refugee support is an incredible opportunity to enrich our community with diversity and new cultures.

We’ve noticed that there are many misconceptions about what the term “refugee” means, and that there’s often confusion with the concept of immigration. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, a refugee is a person of special humanitarian concern to the United States who can demonstrate that they were persecuted, or fear persecution, due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Refugees are people who are in need of help when they are persecuted in their own countries, and they come to America seeking asylum, or protection. This does not include people who come to the United States illegally.

We learned that determining where refugees go within the United States, and how many go to any given state, is a major effort. Idaho, come to find out, is one of the best organized and most helpful states to participate in the program. Holly did a wonderful job of walking us through all the details of how the system works and what we can do to support this community within our community.

We are releasing this in anticipation of a particularly exciting event happening on February 29, 2024. The Idaho Office of Refugees annual Legislative Luncheon will take place from noon to 1:30 PM on the fourth floor of the State Capitol Rotunda. This is a FREE event for the community. We strongly encourage you to come and enjoy authentic food made by the Idaho refugee community and listen to some of their stories. We can’t think of a better way to build community and truly become neighbors than by breaking bread together with people as they share their stories.

To learn more about the Idaho Office for Refugees, visit their website at We also recommend you check out Holly’s podcast, Mosaics, where she and her team interview Idaho refugees who share their amazing stories.

With all that said, we bring you a conversation with Holly Beech from the Idaho Office for Refugees.