App would notify family of illegal immigrant's arrest
PHOENIX (KNXV/CNN) -
A plan for a new cell phone app is stirring up a border battle in Arizona. The app, which is not yet on the market, is supposed to help illegal immigrants who get arrested.
After becoming the first state to pass tough immigration laws, Arizona became a hotbed for immigration issues.
Immigration activists said they feel the law created panic in Hispanic neighborhoods and a need for a new way of communication.
That launched the idea for a new cell phone app geared towards illegal immigrants if they're pulled over and arrested. The app would send out an e-mail or text message to a pre-programmed list of people.
"It's an alert system for family, for loved ones, for your legal representation to be aware you're getting stopped and at what point you're getting stopped," said immigration activist Lydia Guzman.
The app would also send out the GPS location of the arrest, as well as the date and time.
The app's developer in Phoenix, Todd Landfried, said the app would also be able to record audio and video.
"If you're able to set the phone down and record what's going on around you, that's all stuff that can be used as evidence in trial," Landfried said.
Several law enforcement organizations, including Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, did not want to comment on the app.
The Arizona Police Association responded by saying, in part, "Our men and women in uniform will not shirk from our responsibility to uphold and equally enforce the law."
Landfried is currently trying to raise money to cover the costs of developing the app, so it's not yet available.
If enough money is raised, it will take about four months to get the app up and running.
Landfried said it could be used by anyone, not just illegal immigrants, during traffic stops.
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