Posted on October 11, 2011

Cuomo: NY to Translate Forms into Other Languages

Wall Street Journal, October 6, 2011

Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered state agencies Thursday to translate documents and provide interpreters in six languages for immigrants seeking public services.

The $1.5 million effort covered by state and federal funds will also provide the translations to illegal immigrants, depending on what services they seek, Cuomo said. Immigrants won’t be asked about their federal immigration status.

The project will translate documents and websites from agencies including social services and motor vehicles into Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Russian, French and French Creole. The group New York Lawyers for the Public Interest estimates 2.5 million immigrants in New York require help understanding English. {snip}

Cuomo said state government for too long made immigrants responsible for learning enough English to apply for public services.

“It’s government’s responsibility to figure out how to communicate with the person,” Cuomo said.