The Linguist

The Linguist 56,6 – December 2017/January 2018

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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16 The Linguist Vol/56 No/6 2017 FEATURES How do the ever-shifting immigration policies of the US President impact on the country's translation industry, asks Terena Bell O n 27 January 2017, the US President Donald Trump signed an executive order putting a 90-day hold on visas for people from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It's easy to see how this might affect translation. This executive order promised to keep out the 'terrorists' by banning immigration from countries that pose the greatest security threat to the United States, according to the Trump Administration. Of course, it could also keep out everyone who understands what potential terrorists from those countries might be saying, as the languages spoken in these countries – Maay Maay Somali, Sudanese Arabic and so forth – aren't frequently taught in American schools. As if to prove the point, a US Army interpreter was among the people who were en route to the United States while the order was being signed and were detained after landing. Ask industry leaders, though, how Trump's ever-shifting immigration policies might impact on interpreting and translation in the US, and the message seems to be 'nothing to see here; move along'. Nevertheless, the day the order went through, members of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT) did step up, providing free services to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorneys representing detainees. The Iraqi Arabic interpreter Hameed Khalid Darweesh, who interpreted for the 101st Airborne for 10 years, was released on 27 January (the day he was detained). At the request of Red T, a non-profit that works to protect interpreters in high-risk areas, the NAJIT co-signed an open letter to the President on 31 January: "As representatives The Trump effect © SHUTTERSTOCK

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