Another illogical attack on immigrants – removing interpreters. It’s no secret that the Department of Justice, under the Trump administration, would like to remove as many non-legal immigrants as possible. But taking away the official interpreter at the first hearing, where the judge must explain the legal terms and choices in precise language, will have the opposite effect. It seems predictable that immigrants will stop proceedings with questions, and will not be able to go forward. Bigger backlogs (meaning longer timelines before completion) will result. Videos and telephonic interpreters won’t be able to fill the void once the interpreters are gone.
The Article Cutting Interpreters From Immigration Court Risks Due Process clearly demonstrates due to this new policy, many immigrants will lose the help of dedicated court interpreters to ensure they understand what’s going on in the hearing. Under the new policy, in-court interpreters will not be available for initial hearings. Instead, immigrants who don’t speak English will watch a video orientation in “multiple languages,” and will not be permitted to ask questions about the video. Once the immigrant appears in front of the judge, they will only be able to receive interpretation through the phone. However, interpreters will still be available for full hearings on any applications for relief from removal, such as asylum.