SEATTLE — U.S. Border Patrol agents will no longer serve as interpreters when local law enforcement agencies ask for language help.

The new decree issued by Homeland Security says agents should refer any such request to a private service if it's solely for interpretation.

Immigration advocates in Washington state say Border Patrol agents who often interpret during traffic stops or other minor local law calls eventually end up asking immigration questions and in some cases arresting immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally.

The use of interpretation is one of several contentious practices immigrant advocates have fought against in Washington since the Border Patrol agency expanded the number of agents in the state.

Border Patrol has said it's enforcing immigration laws and doing its job of securing the border.

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