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Dan Moffett

Cell Phone Application Lets Immigrant Detainees Call for Help

By March 19, 2012

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A group of immigrant activists in Arizona is developing a smartphone application that will enable people arrested on immigration charges to inform their family and attorney of their whereabouts and detention.

The "Emergency Alert and Personal Protection" app will send arrest information to a pre-set list of supporters using GPS technology. With the touch of a button, friends and family will know what's happened. Too often, undocumented immigrants can be detained for days or even weeks before relatives are able to find out where they are.

The application also will have an option to record video and audio, and then send it to a safe storage place so legal counsel can access it later. The app will also provide information about basic civil rights in English and Spanish to help guide the detainee during police questioning.

Immigrant advocates say they're using the technology to counter SB 1070, the Arizona law that has driven thousands of immigrants out of the state.

Comments

March 20, 2012 at 10:03 am
(1) Jenny Cruz says:

This is a fantastic idea. My husband was detained for five days in April and was not allowed to call me or his consulate for help. I hope this helps other families not to go through the hell we went through.

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