As of last week, the Border Patrol agents in the United States will no longer provide translation for law nor assist law enforcement agents with translation issues. It’s unclear as of yet how this lack of translation for law will impact the enforcement agencies across the rest of the country. But in the North Olympic Peninsula, the law enforcement agencies say that that the new edict will not cause any problems.
A Change For The Better
The sheriffs for both Jefferson and Clallam counties say that the change will have little impact because they haven’t needed a Border Patrol translator more than sporadically through the years. Other people in the area have also expressed positive feelings over the reduction of translation for law.
Now, Spanish-speaking residents can receive English to Spanish translation without fear that they will be detained and questioned about their citizenship. The law enforcement agencies, especially in the city of Forks, say that they have only needed border patrol to translate for them perhaps twice in the last year.
Human rights groups have applauded the new edict and say that they can now hold meetings where the attendees can receive English language classes without fear of being questioned by Border Patrol agents.
As the presence of Border Patrol agents began to increase in the North Olympic Peninsula, the law enforcement agents expected that only Spanish translation services would be provided. However, more citizens began to be detained and questioned, which was not supposed to happen.
Tony Hernandez, the sheriff of Jefferson County, says they were concerned that Spanish-speaking citizens might be hesitant to call the police in times of emergency if they were afraid of being questioned by Border Patrol agents.
Local Translators Make Citizens More Comfortable
Instead of using services from the Border Patrol, the local police officers will now be trained in basic Spanish to English translation and vice versa.
Also, there are local translators that the community is familiar with as well. Most of the time, officers are in need of immediate translation of law because they need to inform citizens why they have arrived so that people will not panic.
With basic Spanish language skills and the contact information of a few well known public translators, the North Olympic Peninsula will be able to manage translation of law just fine without further assistance from the Border Patrol.
Source: The Peninsula Daily News