Another Cost of Immigration: Court Interpreters

It is toxic that we are only permitted to discuss immigration as a human rights issue and not acknowledge the cost of immigration.

I am not against immigration. But the present environment in which immigration is discussed is completely toxic. The Democrat amnesty objective is obviously aimed at harvesting new Democrat voters. The way the laws have been systematically broken rather than legally changed is an outrage.

The Republican Establishment has not given us any better discussion about immigration.

We are not allowed to point out any costs of immigration, and any attempt to do so is called racist.

So here is one concrete issue that needs to be addressed if we are going to have increased immigration, along with bilingual education and not expectation that immigrants will learn to speak English. The AP story begins,

Going through a divorce has been difficult for Sepideh Saeedi. Not understanding what’s happening in court because she isn’t proficient in English has made the process even harder.

“When you don’t understand what the judge is saying, what the other side’s attorney is saying, it’s very stressful,” Saeedi, 33, who speaks Farsi, said after a recent court hearing in Redwood City, Calif.

Legal advocates say throughout the state, litigants in divorce, child custody, eviction and other civil cases who have difficulty with English are going into court without qualified interpreters. Instead, many are forced to turn to friends or family members — or worse yet, the opposing party — for translation.

That’s because California only guarantees access to an interpreter in criminal cases, not civil cases.

OK, but California doesn’t provide free legal representation in civil cases either. I can see how hard it is for someone who comes to this country without knowing English but it is not clear that this is a matter that taxpayers should address.

But maybe Californians, and residents in other states, want to provide this service for non-English-speaking immigrants. If so, those elected to the state legislature and who represent the people of California should make a law and provide for it in their budget.

But that doesn’t seem to be how this works:

But the state is looking to change that. Under pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice, California’s Judicial Council this year approved a plan to extend free interpretation services to all cases by 2017.

The story is admirably honest about how expensive this will be for California and how hard to implement throughout the large state’s many courts. But critics are treating any slowness to provide free interpreters as some sort of offense. And the Feds are trying to force the issue.

A 2013 letter from the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice said state law and court rules placed limits on providing free, qualified interpreters in non-criminal cases, and courts were not using all of the money in a fund used to pay for the services of interpreters.

Yet when we are told that we must welcome immigrants, does anyone list this as another expense taxpayers must support in order to be properly welcoming? That is not how you create a real discussion, when only the pros are allowed and mentioning the cons is frowned upon.

This paragraph caught my eye:

The state last year passed a law authorizing courts to provide interpreters for free in all civil cases. Where there isn’t sufficient funding, the law says courts should prioritize cases, starting with domestic violence, harassment and elder abuse civil cases.

It would be interesting to know how many of these cases that are coming before the courts involve people who don’t speak English.