If you’ve been following the news, you know that the Trump administration has adopted a callous policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S. border, in an attempt to deter immigration. Nearly two thousand children have been separated from their parents over the last six weeks. The children are being held in detention centers or sent to foster homes. This raises the question of how parents can locate their missing children.
Yesterday I had a look at the bilingual flyer “Next Step for Families”, which the Department of Homeland Security is handing out to guide families through this process. To my horror, the Spanish portion of the flyer is full of mistakes such as:
- not using the correct de possessive (“Departamento de Seguridad Nacional de los Estados Unidos (DHS) Oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza (CBP)” instead of “la Oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional de los Estados Unidos (DHS)”
- entrar a instead of entrar en
- missing de and plural s in Dentro las próxima 48 horas
- admixture of informal tú forms within this formal document that otherwise uses usted: vas, infórmale, tienes
- atreves de mandando u email should be a través de mandar un email
- failure to use military time: 8am a 8pm should be de las 8:00 a las 20:00.
These errors add insult to injury to Spanish-speaking parents. They speak to the carelessness and thoughtlessness with which this policy has been conceived and implemented.
I apologize for bringing politics into my blog, but I care about Spanish-speaking people, not just their language, and also about my own country’s soul.