Justice for All? Issues faced by linguistic minorities and border patrol agents during interpreted arraignment interviews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Tijuana (Mexico) - San Ysidro (San Diego County, CA) international border is the world’s busiest port of entry. The US Customs and Border Protection Agency hires over 60,000 employees, 21,000 of whom are agents in the US Border Patrol. Several steps must be taken to become a border patrol agent, but being bilingual is not a pre-requisite.
In order to communicate with detainees, and interrogate them the US Border Patrol Agency hires the services of Telephone Interpreting Companies. In this study I present segments of a 2 hour and fifty minute transcript that captures a typical border patrol agent /detainee interaction facilitated by an ad-hoc interpreter. I examine the power differentials between the interlocutors and the role played by the telephone interpreter in mitigating or reinforcing such power. After analyzing the interpreter’s credentials and the border patrol linguistic needs, I specifically look at interpreter’s linguistic behaviors that lead to a detention reversed during the trial. This study calls into question the construct of justice when serving the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-205
Number of pages25
JournalMonTi: Monografías de Traducción e Interpretación
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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