The Chief Executives of the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the Institute of Translation & Interpreting have sent a letter (text below) for the urgent attention of the Minister of State for Immigration The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP
Dear Minister of State for Immigration,
We read with concern reports in The Guardian of: “Plans to cut the asylum backlog by sending questionnaires to refugees instead of conducting official interviews” with the accompanying “demand that claimants reply in English within 20 working days or risk refusal.”
We would have many major concerns were this to be contemplated – however, three stand out from a public policy and public interest perspective:
There is much more which could be said, including the importance of the use of qualified translators in high stakes contexts. But these three points at the heart of what would make this policy backfire were it to progress beyond the immediate media coverage and likely public outcry.
As we understand it, The Guardian’s piece is based on a leak and is speculation. We hope you can confirm that this is the case and that you have no intention of moving in the direction the article suggests.
Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Linguists
Chief Executive, Institute of Translation & Interpreting