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18 August 2015

USCIS Recognized for Language Access Outreach

USCIS has long recognized the need to ensure that our customers have meaningful access to our services, regardless of their language ability.  We are proud to be a leader in our multi-lingual efforts to serve the diverse range of our customer base.

Aug. 11 was the 15th anniversary of a presidential order intended to give people with limited English proficiency (LEP) meaningful access to federal government services. Marking the anniversary, Megan H. Mack, officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security, recognized USCIS’ multilingual outreach efforts. She presented a certificate to the Customer Service and Public Engagement Directorate (CSPED) in “recognition of exemplary work and outstanding contributions to implementation of Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency.” CSPED accepted the award on behalf of USCIS.

Executive Order 13166 directs each federal agency to “examine the services it provides and develop and implement a system by which LEP individuals can meaningfully access those services consistent with, and without unduly burdening the fundamental mission of the agency.”

The Department of Homeland Security’s Language Access Plan requires each DHS component to draft its own plan. DHS approved the USCIS plan, and the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Office will roll out all of the completed DHS plans this fall.  

USCIS regularly interacts with customers in languages other than English through translated materials, multilingual public engagements, the National Customer Service Center toll-free line and in-person appointments at our offices.  We have held in-person and virtual engagements in Spanish, Arabic, Korean, Arabic, Vietnamese, and Chinese-Mandarin and we are hosting our first Cantonese engagement on Wednesday, August 19th, in partnership with several local community viewing parties across the country.

In addition to our several in-language videos, our USCIS Director León Rodríguez has also created videos in English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Creole, and recently announced the new USCIS Spanish Facebook page and the new home of the USCIS Compás blog.

As part of our commitment, we also routinely produce educational and outreach materials in multiple languages and publish them to the Multilingual Resource Center. Currently, the Multilingual Resource Center offers materials translated into 24 languages. Some of these materials include translated press releases, Web alerts of USCIS announcements, How Do I guides and other informational brochures and presentations.

USCIS appreciates the recent recognition we received from DHS.  We are especially grateful to both our tremendous workforce and community partners who have helped us in our multilingual outreach efforts.  We are proud of the work we’ve done so far, and look forward to improving the experience for our limited English proficient customers.

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