Photo: Immigration Policy Center Reports on Border Patrol Agents
Today, the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) released Border Patrol Agents as Interpreters Along the Northern Border: Unwise Policy, Illegal Practice by Lisa Graybill, Esq.
As the number of U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents along the Northern Border has skyrocketed in recent years, advocates have reported a sharp increase in the use of these agents to provide translation and interpretation services for both emergency responders and state and local law enforcement officers. This most often occurs when a police officer encounters an individual who does not speak English and proactively reaches out to USBP for assistance with language interpretation. However, it has also occurred when USBP agents respond to 911 emergency calls, crime scenes, or traffic incidents instead of, or in addition to, local law enforcement officers.
According to IPC rather than simply interpreting, the Border Patrol goes beyond its stated mandate and uses these occasions to enforce immigration law, turning a criminal investigation or an emergency encounter into deportation proceedings. This collaboration between local police and federal immigration enforcement agents threatens community health and safety. Because they fear the Border Patrol, some immigrants in these communities are fearful of calling the police when they witness or are a victim of a crime, or do not call a 911 in case of an emergency.
The report lays out the problems generated when U.S. Border Patrol agents collaborate with local police and emergency responders and serve as interpreters. It contains multiple case studies from across the Northern Border states, discusses the impact on local communities, explains the legal ramifications, and makes recommendations intended to promote maintain the integrity of the USBP mission on the Northern Border, and protect the rights of immigrants and their families who call the Northern Border home.
To view the report click here.