Respond Crisis Translation
Respond is a grassroots collective of 2500+ translators, interpreters and language activists mobilizing to provide compassionate, trauma-informed language support to asylum seekers, refugees, and anyone experiencing language barriers in the midst of crisis. We represent 108 languages, and mobilize around the clock, from around the world, working across diverse contexts wherever the need is.
In addition to individual asylum seekers and refugees who reach out for support, we also partner with more than 260 organizations working on the frontlines of the refugee and resettlement crises, with focuses ranging from legal aid to medical and mental health support, social services and job support, education access, housing justice and climate action, and everything in between.
The U.S. detains more than 50K migrants on any day. ICE does not provide ANY interpreters to help detainees understand what is happening around them. The government requires all asylum applications be in English, but provides NO subsidies to help detainees translate hundreds of documents for their asylum case. Beyond lack of subsidies, people in detention don’t even have access to mobile phones, or computers to be able to access translation resources, or even know what resources exist. The result of this lack of access is people languishing in detention centers, separated from their families, for months and even years. Language violence makes access impossible for non-English speaking communities across every other single system in our country as well: from medical and mental health care, to social services, job support, housing, school systems, & much more…
In response, we began organizing as a group of interpreters volunteering at the Southern border of the US in the fall of 2019. As it became apparent how vast and urgent the need was for trauma-informed, compassionate language support, our collective quickly grew, formalizing into a 501c3 in early 2020. In just 3 years, Respond has translated over 39,000 pages for asylum applications and provided over 1.2 million minutes of trauma-informed oral interpreting to over 8,000 individual asylum seekers in addition to our day-to-day casework supporting 269 partner organizations. In under three years, the VALUE of the work we have done almost completely for free is over $2.9M USD.