Even if you are in the U.S. without authorization, you have certain rights. You have the right to an interpreter in interviews with immigration officers and immigration court. This means that you must be able to understand what is said to you during an immigration proceeding if you do not speak English. If courts do not provide you with a competent interpreter during immigration proceedings, they are violating your right to “due process” and that is a protection for anyone in the U.S.
The interpreter is there to make sure that you understand everything that is said to you and to make sure that court officials understand everything you are trying to say. It can be fatal to your case if you make a mistake because of errors in with communication.
You also have a right to an interpreter who can meet three standards. The interpreter must be:
- Fluent in your languageandin English.
The interpreter must demonstrate proficiency in both English and in the interviewee’s language
The interpreter must communicate information accurately in both English and in the interviewee’s language
- Impartial and Unbiased Individual
The interpreter must be impartial and able to interpret without bias. In other words, the person should not seem to have an opinion about how the proceeding should go.
Employees in immigration courts and people in immigration field offices must provide an interpreter, so ask for one if one is not provided. You cannot defend yourself well in an immigration proceeding without an interpreter. Even if you speak some English you should consider requesting an interpreter to help you.
Remember, if there is a misunderstanding it will be very hard to fix it later. You must remember that you have rights. If you try to tell your story in poor English it can have a devastating effect on your case.
You can find immigration lawyers who are fluent in Spanish at Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C.Our lawyers can defend your right to an interpreter in your language whatever it may be. You can find out more about us at our website orby calling our office at (510) 756-4468.