Dear interpreter colleagues,
This request was forwarded to the ataTalk mailing list and we thought it could be of interest to anyone willing to volunteer in the NYC metro area. Additionally, with input from several colleagues, we compiled a list of organizations that are looking for pro bono interpreters and/or translators. Please help us make this list as comprehensive and up to date as possible. Thank you!
Begin forwarded message:
Are you upset about the Trump Administration’s treatment of immigrants and asylum-seekers? Are you looking for a way to help locally? Do you have language abilities? Here’s one thing you can do: register to provide pro-bono translation services alongside volunteer immigration attorneys.
As you may have heard, it has been reported that over 200 people who recently arrived at the southern border are being transported to several local detention facilities. As immigration-focused organizations including Legal Aid and NYIC gear up to provide these new clients with free legal representation, they are facing a recurring challenge: securing pro-bono translation services to accompany lawyers on client visits.
In response, we’re building out a pilot project to help meet their needs, seeking to identify volunteers with language abilities we can match with immigrants who need interpretation to access their legal rights.
Click here to fill out a form indicating some information about your language fluency and general availability to volunteer. Someone will reach out to follow up if your skills and availability may meet their needs.
A little fine print:
- LOCATIONS: Most needs at least initially will require in-person travel to one of three detention facilities (Hudson County/Kearney NJ; Hackensack NJ; and Middletown/Goshen, NY). Transportation may be possible to coordinate.
- TIMES: Volunteers will likely be asked to commitment for half-day shifts. Once exact scheduling needs are determined, volunteers may be able to volunteer for as many shifts as they would like. Evening and weekend shifts are likely the highest need.
- LANGUAGE ABILITY:
- Fluency level is assessed based on the State Department definitions, which can be viewed here: https://careers.state.gov/faq-items/language-proficiency-definitions/.
- While for the purposes of this project, volunteers are sought who have bilingual/native-level fluency, you are NOT required to have specialized legal language ability to be eligible. Pro-bono attorneys are developing a list of any key legal terms you may need to know.
- LIKELY PRIORITY LANGUAGE NEEDS: As lawyers are able to assess their client population, specific language needs will be identified. However, they anticipate needing folks fluent in Spanish (including some regional dialects and indigenous languages), Portuguese, French, Italian, Russian, and Punjabi.
End forwarded message.
07/19/2019: Edited to correct the mispelling of Kearny, NJ.
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