Smart phone application helps illegal immigrants navigate safely across border - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

NATIONAL NEWS

Smart phone application helps illegal immigrants navigate safely across border

SAN DIEGO. Calif. - A San Diego research team is close to releasing a smart phone application to help illegal immigrants navigate safely across the border.

The 'Transborder Immigrant tool' - once downloaded into Motorola phones equipped with GPS - is a humanitarian tool designed to save lives, according to the application's creators at the University of California San Diego.

"It's really just designed for you to turn it on and the compass would show you where the nearest safety site is, be that Border Patrol or highway or water, in case you're in an extreme emergency," said co-creator Micha Cardenas.

Critics, including the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, are outraged and think the application's creators should be arrested.

Story continues below...

Two men scale the border fence from Mexico (File Photo: U.S. Navy)

The technology is nothing new, according to the Border Patrol, whose agents are prepared to counter the application with their own technology, including ground sensors, however the Border Patrol says phones with this new application are a potential threat.

"If they fall into the wrong people's hands, be it terrorists or gang members or people that are here to harm our country, they can also use this technology," said Border Patrol agent Julius Alatorre. "So while the intent may be good, in the wrong hands, it could turn out to be a bad thing."

Cardenas insists the application poses no threat to national security but does call it "electronic civil disobedience" and an art project, even.

"When it tells you where there's water, it also gives you a few lines of poetry to welcome you to the U.S.," Cardenas said.

The researchers hope to finish testing the application in the desert areas along the border and put it to use as soon as possible. Cardenas said the UCSD team is working with immigrants rights advocates and religious groups to distribute the phones in Mexico sometime next year.

So far, they have received at least some of the funding for the $30 phones from the Transborder Humanities Institute at UCSD.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Skater dies from injuries in Riverfront Park accident

    Skater dies from injuries in Riverfront Park accident

    Sunday, January 21 2018 12:11 AM EST2018-01-21 05:11:18 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - City of Spokane Parks and Recreation officials confirmed Saturday night that a skater injured Friday at Riverfront Park has died from their injuries. The skater fell and was hurt, but additional details about the extent of the injuries were not available. “The City of Spokane is deeply saddened by this horrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with their family, and we send our deepest condolences,” said Mayor David Condon in a release Saturday.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - City of Spokane Parks and Recreation officials confirmed Saturday night that a skater injured Friday at Riverfront Park has died from their injuries. The skater fell and was hurt, but additional details about the extent of the injuries were not available. “The City of Spokane is deeply saddened by this horrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with their family, and we send our deepest condolences,” said Mayor David Condon in a release Saturday.

    >>
  • What you should do if you have the flu

    What you should do if you have the flu

    Thursday, January 18 2018 1:36 AM EST2018-01-18 06:36:55 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The number of flu cases continue to rise. In Spokane County, more than 300 people have been hospitalized because of it and 14 of them have died. So how do you know you have the flu? KHQ met with Dr. Bob Lutz, Spokane County health officer. He says that the flu is a respiratory illness and if you have it, you’ll know it’s more than a cold. “You have the body aches. Everything hurts. I’ve had people tell me their eyes hurt, their hair hu...

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The number of flu cases continue to rise. In Spokane County, more than 300 people have been hospitalized because of it and 14 of them have died. So how do you know you have the flu? KHQ met with Dr. Bob Lutz, Spokane County health officer. He says that the flu is a respiratory illness and if you have it, you’ll know it’s more than a cold. “You have the body aches. Everything hurts. I’ve had people tell me their eyes hurt, their hair hu...

    >>
  • Scammers target Spokane Valley grandmother

    Scammers target Spokane Valley grandmother

    Saturday, January 20 2018 9:59 PM EST2018-01-21 02:59:02 GMT

    Spokane Valley, Wash. Karen Viszneki phone rings off the hook. Starting before the sun rises and even after she goes to bed. On a typical day, Karen will receive over 50 different phone calls from scammers. Karen Viszneki signed up with Career Builder a job search engine website in hopes to find a job. “There’s a lot of stress there, to begin with, but I applied on career builder, and since then I would say a week or two receiving nonstop calls," said Karen. The calls

    >>

    Spokane Valley, Wash. Karen Viszneki phone rings off the hook. Starting before the sun rises and even after she goes to bed. On a typical day, Karen will receive over 50 different phone calls from scammers. Karen Viszneki signed up with Career Builder a job search engine website in hopes to find a job. “There’s a lot of stress there, to begin with, but I applied on career builder, and since then I would say a week or two receiving nonstop calls," said Karen. The calls

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/