Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In Every Language Position on Ky SB6

As a business, In Every Language tries not to engage in political debate. But as interpreters, we must be aware when political issues threaten or affect the people we work with.

Kentucky Senate Bill 6 is an Arizona-style immigration bill for the Commonwealth that, if made law, would allow state and local police to fine or detain anyone they suspect of being undocumented.

Regardless of your position on immigration or your personal political beliefs, the passing of this bill--and even its being considered--has a clear impact on Kentucky's limited-English proficient (LEP) population.

What You Can Do
First, we would like interpreters to consider how this bill impacts LEPs you interpret for.  Are they going to feel welcomed in the facilities where we interpret?  Are they going to be forthcoming with medical, legal, and other information?  How does this change the tone or vocabulary you use as an interpreter?  If the bill passes, will you as an interpreter need to bring your residency documents with you to appointments?

Secondly, we understand that some of you may be adamantly for or against this bill, which has already successfully gone through the Ky Senate.  We encourage you to contact your Kentucky House Representative to express your opinion and to tell your representative how you would like for him or her to vote.  You may find your representative's contact information by clicking here.

Third, be present so you can learn more! Community information sessions regarding this bill will be held in Louisville on

Saturday, January 22nd (2 pm) at the Americana Community Center
(The Americana is independently seeking volunteer interpreters for this event. To volunteer, call 502-366-7813.)

Saturday, January 29th (3 pm) at Beechmont Presbyterian Church
(In Spanish)

Yours to Decide
Again, I would like to stress that you have a right to your own opinion.  Whether you are for or against Ky SB6 is yours to decide and our interpreters' individual positions will not affect whether or not In Every Language gives them interpreting assignments.  But, again, as interpreters, we must be aware of what impacts our clients and our LEP audience, which is why I am posting this in my blog.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Why don't you post a link to the bill within your article. I googled the bill but the first 20 or so urls are commentary such as yours and not the bill itself. You want folks to write their legislators without reading the bill.

Terena Bell - In Every Language said...

Thank you for your post, Anonymous. I don't necessarily want people to write their legislators; I just want interpreters and those who work with them to be aware of what's going on. I do not have a copy of the bill personally or I would be happy to post it. Senator David Williams is who sponsored the bill. I would hope his office could supply you with a copy.