A Translation Problem in Immigration Court

According to an article in the ‘New Yorker’ magazine from 2019 written by Rachel Nolan, a Guatemalan
woman expressed to an immigration court that she had traveled to the United States due to a problem with her blouse”.

As this was what the interpreter understood, he couldn’t explain further, and the woman was deported.

The woman belonged to the Mayas, a culture that makes up a third of the population of Guatemala.

These people suffer discrimination and oppression because of their practices and clothing, one of them being the ‘huipil’, a traditional garb used by women.

The ‘blouse’ this woman referred to was this ‘huipil’, and the ‘problem’, was the danger of being attacked for dressing a certain way.

A tragedy that could’ve been prevented if she only had a quality interpreter.

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