Everyone in the U.S., including undocumented immigrants, are protected by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which states that “no person shall on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be denied the benefits of … any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
The Federal government has laws, policy, and guidance to protect persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) who come in contact with government and non-government agencies that receive Federal funding. Such entities can lose their funding if they do not comply with government regulations to provide language access services free of cost. These range from bilingual staff or staff interpreters competent in the skill of interpreting, to contracting qualified in-person or telephonic interpreter services, to arranging formally for the services of qualified voluntary community interpreters who are bound by confidentiality agreements. Generally, it is not acceptable for agencies or recipients to rely upon an LEP individual’s family members or friends to provide the interpreter services.
This web page is a resource for links relating to language access and the protection of LEP persons.