BELLINGHAM - The public is invited to a discussion of a new federal policy that means U.S. border agents will no longer serve as interpreters for local police.
A community forum on the issue will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at St. Luke's educational center, 3333 Squalicum Parkway.
Local law enforcement used to be able to call U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers if they needed an interpreter. The Department of Homeland Security changed its policy in November after immigration activists said the old way eventually led border agents to ask questions about immigrations status.
Now when police call U.S. border agents for an interpreter, they're referred to a list of private interpreters.
At the Thursday meeting, the public can pose questions about the new policy to officials from the Department of Homeland Security.