In July, the federal government began replacing interpreters with informational videos in initial proceedings. So far, the new policy has only been implemented in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York, but it is already causing problems. Because all hearings are shown the same 20-minute video informing non-English speakers of their rights, and not all of that information is important for every case, there have been delays in proceedings. As scheduled in-person interpreters are now barred, if an immigrant has a question for the judge and cannot speak English, the court must either find an interpreter in the courthouse or on the phone. The immigration judges’ union wasn’t consulted, and the executive vice president of the union complained that despite the length of the videos, they still miss crucial information and often present information in a misleading way. 

– Weekly Immigration Briefing by Olivia Hester, Immigration Law Analyst at Docketwise

Posted in: Immigration