The Background: SOSi recruiting less experienced personnel to interpret in immigration court.
While SOSi has had experience in foreign war zones, this defense contractor is finding it more challenging to navigate domestic waters. In an apparent effort to maximize profits, SOSi has recently been recruiting less experienced personnel to interpret in immigration court. SOSi’s contract with the Department of Justice was granted based on their having an experienced, professional workforce with years of experience interpreting in Immigration Court. Now, the defense contractor seems to be looking to transition to a less qualified but more profitable workforce.
Immigration Interpreters argue, as has been widely reported in the press, that inadequate interpretation has a direct impact on due process and hurts immigrants hoping for a fair hearing and trying to keep their families together.
“If a respondent does not have a qualified interpreter for their hearing, it could result in their immediate deportation. We are dealing with extremely delicate matters,” argued Fernando Becerril, a Spanish language interpreter for EOIR. “The NLRB’s determination cushions SOSi’s bottom line,” stated Becerril. “They are allowed to continue replacing us with less qualified, cheaper interpreters,” he said.
“The DOJ/EOIR should be ashamed of themselves. How can they ‘ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans’, when under their very noses SOSi is about to replace a whole crew of highly qualified interpreters with less qualified and less experienced students and interns? This is a complete obstruction of justice,” stated Becerril.
“We are language professionals with years, sometimes decades of experience, who are committed to the due process afforded every person in the American judicial system,” said Stephany Magaña, a Spanish language interpreter for EOIR. “The DOJ/EOIR has a responsibility to the people of this country to demonstrate that they will not allow an injustice such as this to prevail. It behooves them to investigate the many complaints filed by interpreters nationwide,” argued Magaña.