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Los Angeles Times
June 1, 2017

Interpreters play a vital role in immigration courts — but their rights are being violated, labor board says
By Nina Agrawal

The Justice Department — which in 2015 awarded a contract to SOSi for up to five years and a maximum of $80 million — declined to comment on contract interpreters’ employment status. Kathryn Mattingly, a spokeswoman for the department, said SOSi was selected in a competitive process based on “technical evaluation and the best value to the government.” SOSi, based in Reston, Va., said in a statement before the NLRB filed its complaint that subcontracting interpreters “is not a new practice” and that the views of “the small handful of disgruntled interpreters who have filed protests in various venues do not represent … the majority of qualified professional interpreters.” The case, which now goes to a hearing before an administrative law judge of the NLRB, will affect hundreds of interpreters who work in immigration courts nationwide. Those courts are currently saddled with a backlog of 585,000 cases, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, and they are set to become even busier as President Trump pursues an agenda of mass deportation.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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