CAPAC Chair Chu Applauds DOJ Memorandum on Improving Language Access in Government Services

Nov 23, 2022 Issues: Civil Rights

Washington, D.C. – On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a memorandum to federal agencies to improve access to services for people with limited proficiency in English. The Department of Justice last reaffirmed its commitment to Executive Order 13166 over a decade ago, under President Obama. Since then, CAPAC has engaged in advocacy efforts to expand and improve language access in federal activities, including speaking with President Biden and Attorney General Garland, asking them to take this action. CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued the following statement: 

“I am thrilled that Attorney General Garland issued a memorandum earlier this week outlining a course of action for federal agencies to improve, modernize, and implement their language access responsibilities under Executive Order 13166, ‘Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency.’ Over 25 million individuals in our nation, including one-third of our AANHPI communities, have Limited English Proficiency (LEP), and we must ensure LEP and immigrant populations have equitable access to government benefits and services. I am proud that CAPAC Members have been relentless in our efforts to see this through on behalf of LEP AANHPIs across the country, from our leadership discussing this directly Attorney General Garland and President Biden to my work co-leading a letter with Representatives Doris Matsui and Sylvia Garcia on this issue. I thank Attorney General Garland for renewing the Department of Justice’s commitment to address linguistic barriers with its federal partners, and we look forward to continuing our work together on this important issue.”