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How an 'I’m Getting Arrested' app for immigrants would work

New America Media reported yesterday on a planned smartphone application that Arizona immigrant rights advocates are raising money for to develop. Similar to an app developed for Occupy protesters, the "Emergency Alert and Personal Protection" app would allow immigrants detained during a traffic stop to quickly notify family, friends, and if they have one, a lawyer.

The idea is to raise enough money to launch the app by July. As for how many undocumented or otherwise deportable immigrants have smartphones, no way to know. But Latinos make up the largest share of all U.S. immigrants, and several studies have shown them to be heavy users of smartphones, which allow for cheaper Internet access than broadband. New America Media interviewed Todd Landfried, spokesman for the group that came up with the idea:

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.

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