A brand-new cell phone app., developed by a professor at U.C. San Diego, is supposed to help guide illegal immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border similar to how a GPS system works in a car.
UCSD visual arts Professor Ricardo Dominguez created the app., which he is calling the Transborder Immigrant Tool, to give people crossing the border "a way not to die.
"It locates where you are in relation to where you want to go, what is the best way to get to that point and what you can expect when you reach the endpoint," Dominguez tells the North County Times.
Hmm. What to expect "when you reach your endpoint?" If that endpoint is Maricopa County, the device should probably alert users to a certain malevolent law-enforcement agency that will try and hunt them down like dogs.
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Law enforcement agencies are worried that the app. will be used by drug dealers and human smugglers as they try to navigate their way into the United States, and some say Dominguez may be held criminally responsible if it can be proven that someone coming into the country illegally is using the device.
"If I drive you over and show you where to cross, that's a crime," says Peter Nunez, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California. "If I'm standing at the border and help you climb over, that's a crime. Theoretically, if you could give them a map, whether it's hand-drawn or computerized, that would also be illegal."
The app. is currently only available on certain types of inexpensive Motorola phones, but Dominguez hopes to have it available for free on other phones like the ultra-suave Apple iPhone.