Activists in Arizona are developing an app to help come to the aid of immigrants in the state who are living in a post-SB 1070 era. Far too often, even pre-SB 1070, immigrant rights activists heard complaints that after a traffic stop or arrest, family members would disappear into the black hole of immigration detention, where relatives and loved ones are notoriously difficult to locate. So innovators are trying to fix that.
From New America Media’s Valeria Fernandez:
The app will allow users to notify family, friends, attorneys and even their consulate when they get pulled over by law enforcement or when they are facing an emergency situation that puts their safety or civil rights at risk.
With the touch of a button, Landfried says, the “Emergency Alert and Personal Protection” app will send a pre-set list of people information about the person’s location using GPS technology and date and time of the incident. The app will also have an option to record audio and video, which is a common function on most mobile phones, but it will take it a step further by sending the audio and video to a “web interface” where the data can be stored and accessed by lawyers, for example.
It will also inform them, in English and Spanish, of their civil rights if they are arrested during a traffic stop; for example, reminding them that they have the right to remain silent and have an attorney present during questioning.
Guzman says the app could help people make split-second decisions at a crucial moment about who to call and how to get help. She says it would also provide immigrant advocates a starting point to search for undocumented immigrants once they are in the detention system - a search that can sometimes take days.
The app is still in development though, and developers have started a 30-day fundraising campaign to raise $225,000. As of today, there are 18 days left to fund the project.