An app for undocumented immigrants arrested in traffic stops
An app in the works would help undocumented immigrants who are pulled over by police notify family and friends of their whereabouts. (Flickr: Steve Rhodes)
An Arizona-based immigrant rights group is aiming to develop a smartphone application that would help undocumented immigrants alert friends, family, and their attorney if they are detained or arrested during a traffic stop, New America Media reports.
The move is meant to expand a service provided by the non-profit Respect/Respeto, which currently has an emergency hotline that monitors cases of possible civil rights violations against Latinos by local law enforcement.
Arizona’s embattled immigration law, which was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer in 2010, included a provision that requires police to verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. Though the provision was blocked as a result of numerous lawsuits claiming it would lead to racial profiling, a recent investigation into the practices of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office by the U.S. Department of Justice found that Latinos are four to nine times more likely to be stopped by police than non-Latinos.
Lydia Guzman, the organization’s president, said that the crackdown inspired her friend Todd Lanfried, of Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform, to come up with the idea for a smartphone app similar to the “I’m Getting Arrested” app launched in response to the arrests of protestors involved in the Occupy movement.
The app would send a pre-set list of people information about the arrestee’s location, could record audio and video and send it to a web interface where it can be accessed by lawyers, and inform arrestees of their rights in English and Spanish.
The group is currently collecting donations to support its development.
Read more at New America Media.