'I'm getting arrested' app could help undocumented immigrants

A group of immigrant's rights advocates is hoping to develop a smartphone app that would allow undocumented immigrants to notify their family members if they're getting arrested with the touch of a button. In view of the recent anti-immigrant laws passed in Arizona, Alabama, Utah, and Georgia--which essentially allow police to verify someone's immigration status if there's any suspicion that they may be in the country illegally (this is after they've been already stopped for some kind of infraction)--an app like this could be an extremely valuable tool in cases involving civil liberties violations like racial profiling.

This eApp (Emergency Alert and Protection Program) would send an alert to those in the user's contact list stating his GPS location, the time and the date and it would also give the user the option to record audio and video. 

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All information will be automatically uploaded and stored in a web interface to be shared with other, such as a user's attorney, at a later time. 

"When someone gets pulled over the first thing to worry about is the family," said Lydia Guzman, the president of the Arizona nonprofit Respect/Respeto adding that the search for undocumented immigrants once they are in the detention system can take days.

In a way, the app is a spin-off of the work the nonprofit those, which includes a 24-hour hotline for undocumented immigrants seeking information about their rights. That's why eApp will also remind users that if they're arrested during a traffic violation they have a right to remain silent and a right to have a lawyer present during questioning. This information will be available in both English and Spanish. 

For the app to become a reality, Guzman and other immigration advocates have launched a crowdfunding campaign. They need to raise $225,000 to work with a software developer and have the app ready by July. The app would then be available for download for about $2.

What do you think of this app? Do you believe it would be of use? 

Image via Mr.JasonWeaver/flickr

Topics: immigration