Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The Immigrant Warning App: Immigrant activists have begun a campaign to raise money to create an emergency alert and personal security smartphone app that could be used by undocumented immigrants.
Todd Landfried, a spokesperson for Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform, advanced the idea for the smartphone app, which wishes to ”help ensure the safety and protect the rights of people who are stopped for possible immigration violations as well as key life-threatening safety concerns.”
New America Media stated that, “A group of pro-immigrant rights activists in Arizona aim to develop a smartphone application that would help immigrants notify friends, family and their attorney if they are detained and arrested during a traffic stop.”
Undocumented Latino immigrants are no strangers to traffic stop detentions culminating in deportation proceedings. Florida residents and immigrant activists provided a petition in December 2011 with 2,000 signatures to Miami-Dade County Police Department headquarters, “calling on the department to stop its practice of stopping Latino drivers based on their racial profile.”
Landfried told New America Media that he considers that Latinos are “well-positioned to make use of such an app based on recent trends of Latinos’ usage of smartphones. According to a 2010 Nielsen Company report, 45 percent of Hispanic mobile users have a smartphone compared to just over a quarter of white mobile users.”
Smartphones have become the entryway for Latinos, African-American and low wage workers, who cannot pay for high speed broadband Internet at home.
According to a December 2011 study published by Colorlines, a racial justice media outlet, Latino and black contact to the Internet through their smart phones has become “the bridge across the Internet’s long-discussed digital divide”. This bridge is not perfect, however. It essentially creates a second Internet, “one in which people of color and users with little income are entirely dependent upon cell phone companies for access.”
Despite these flaws, immigrant activists hope that a cell phone app such as this will improve the safety and security of undocumented immigrants across the United States by providing them with the essential means of contacting people who can help in the press of a button.
Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to become a nanny by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at] gmail.com.