Cultural Diversity

Idaho is home to a rich diversity of culture, including our Native American population, Hispanic, Latino, Basque, African and Asian Americans. It is this wealth of diversity that makes Idaho one of the most desirable places to live and helps explain why it is the third-fastest growing state in the union. From wandering fur-trappers to courageous pioneers and farmers to those seeking the pristine air and water, settlers in Idaho come from many areas. In addition to migrants from East of the Mississippi and Europe, Idaho has enjoyed settlers from Canada, Asia, Central and South America who have helped enrich the fabric that is Idaho.

I am proud of the rich texture that defines Idaho and her people. As a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, I have detailed Native American issues on the Native American issues page on my website.  You may also visit the Senate’s committee page for more information at http://www.indian.senate.gov/  

Idaho’s Hispanic and Latino population continues to grow.  Our Latino population is now the second-highest in Idaho.   As a member of the Senate’s Banking and Finance Committees, I have worked with Idaho financial institutions to develop a Hispanic Financial Literacy Program.   Idaho Latinos have sometimes suffered from language barriers when establishing credit or attempting to purchase a home.  These outreach efforts cut though the red tape and barriers and make it easier for Latinos and Hispanics to enjoy the purchasing and investment benefits of other Idahoans.
I worked with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to secure seed funding that helped to open Idaho’s first Hispanic cultural center.  The Idaho Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho in Nampa was a showcase for Latino talent and outreach.

I have consistently maintained that there is a real need for a rational immigration policy.  As additional immigration proposals are considered in Congress, I will continue to press for an immigration policy that is built on the principles of border security, reforms our broken guest worker program, does not grant blanket amnesty and protects American jobs.