понедельник, 18 сентября 2017 г.

Why Immigration Courts Need Interpreters?

Why Immigration Courts Need Interpreters

Each year, the Executive Office for Immigration Review publishes a Statistics Yearbook on immigration court matters. This past year’s report highlighted several trends in immigration, including an increase in the number of immigration cases when compared to previous years. In addition to an increase of immigration cases, the report also showed an increased need for translation services in the courtroom.

An Unbalanced System & An Unbalanced Workload

U.S. Immigration Courts are estimating a rise in court cases due to current changes in immigration policies.

In fact, last year’s trends displayed a 14 percent increase in court matters compared with 2015.

Further data confirmed an unbalanced system and an unbalanced workload. This was evident in the fact that 25 percent of all cases brought to the attention of the immigration court system were only accounted by five city immigration courts (there are 58 nationwide).

The cities most affected by immigration-related court cases include:
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • New York City, NY
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Arlington, VA
  • Miami, FL

Language Trends

According to the Executive Office for Immigration, the top five languages represented in 2016 include:
  • Spanish – 75.73% of all initial case completions
  • English – 10.21% of all initial case completions
  • Mandarin Chinese – 3.80% of all initial case completions
  • Punjabi – 0.81% of all initial case completions
  • Arabic – 0.60% of all initial case completions

While Spanish is the most requested language for court interpreters, Administrative Deputy Clerk for the Racine County of Courts Office, Sam Christensen, says a few other language requests have been showing up, including Arabic, American Sign Language, Gujarati, Burmese, Hindi, Portuguese, Tagalog, Russian, Korean, Serbian, and Vietnamese.

“That’s just for the last couple of months,” Christensen added. “Whether you’re innocent or guilty, you have the right to understand the court process.”

Interpreting the Results

These statistics confirm that native Spanish language speakers were responsible for the majority of court cases in the system last year (76 percent). Which, in turn, has resulted in an increased demand for Spanish court interpreters.

“There is no question the need for interpreters has increased,” Racine County Circuit Court Judge Charles Constantine told The Journal Times. “Primarily Spanish interpreters.”

According to The Journal Times, more than 1,747 hours were logged in Racine County courts by Spanish-speaking court interpreters.

“I think there’s a certain heightened awareness among lawyers (of the need for interpreters),” Christensen said. “When you think about it, legal concepts — even when you speak English — can be complicated.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 29 percent from 2014 to 2024. This increase will assist in meeting the demand in immigration courts. In order for proceedings in this court to be fair and accurate, all parties involved must understand what’s going on. That is best achieved when information can be conveyed in the appropriate language.

The article was written by Sirena Rubinoff.
Sirena's bio: Sirena Rubinoff is the Content Manager at Morningside Translations. She earned her B.A. and Master’s Degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern. After completing her graduate degree, Sirena won an international fellowship as a Rotary Cultural Ambassador to Jerusalem. Sirena covers topics related to software and website localization, global business solutions, and the translation industry as a whole.