Department of Justice is reportedly planning to replace in-person interpreters with informative videos at immigration hearings

Business Insider | 1/31/2019 | Lauren Frias
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The Department of Justice is planning to replace human interpreters at immigration court hearings with informative videos briefing migrants facing deportation on their rights, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The "cost-saving" measure was introduced nationally by the DOJ last month and could be put into place as early as mid-July.

Spokesperson - Justice - Department - INSIDER - Policy

A spokesperson for the Justice Department told INSIDER that there is no specific policy change for using informative videos for "master calendar" hearings, and called the shift "part of an effort to be good stewards" of the limited resources of the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

Some judges and immigration advocates, however, are concerned about the videos.

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The Department of Justice is planning to replace human interpreters at immigration court hearings with informative videos briefing migrants facing deportation on their rights, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

DOJ - Switch - Immigration - Judges - US

The DOJ introduced the switch to immigration judges across the US last month, calling it a "cost-saving measure" for a bogged-down immigration court system, according to The Chronicle. The plan could be implemented as early as mid-July.

The video was proposed as a solution to the issue of "master calendar" hearings, where immigration judges meet with dozens of undocumented immigrants in "rapid succession" to inform them of their rights and obligations and schedule cases, the number of which is close to reaching one million, according to The Chronicle.

Spokesperson - Justice - Department - INSIDER - Policy

A spokesperson for the Justice Department told INSIDER that there is no specific policy change for using informative videos for "master calendar" hearings, which typically only last 10 to 15 minutes. Rather, the shift away from in-person interpreters is "part of an effort to be good stewards" of the limited resources of the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

The video, which would be recorded in multiple languages, would serve a similar purpose: informing immigrants on their rights and...
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