Friday, December 14, 2012
Advocates had criticized the agency for allegedly using its Spanish interpretation services as an opportunity to deport people.
SAN DIEGO The U.S. Border Patrol says its agents will no longer translate for local law enforcement agencies whose officers don’t speak Spanish.
The decision comes after a recent report criticizing the Border Patrol along the U.S-Canada Border, where local police have called on Border Patrol agents to interpret for them when they have arrested or responded to calls from Spanish speakers.
The American Immigration Council had documented instances when agents used that as an opportunity to deport undocumented immigrants. The council called on the agency to stop the practice, saying it could lead Latino communities to fear calling police.
The Border Patrol now says it will no longer translate for local police, and instead refer them to professional interpreters.
In a statement, the agency said the decision was meant to bring it more in line with its mission of securing the border.
This is has mostly been an issue on the U.S. border with Canada, because law enforcement agencies along the southern border usually have plenty of Spanish speakers on staff.