Mobile App To Lead Illegal Immigrants To Safety, Spark Huge Debate

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News Posted: Wed, Dec 30 2009 4:45 AM
At first glance, we got the wrong idea about this story. It sounded as if a pair of University of California, San Diego professors were cooking up a mobile phone app that would actually assist in the illegal crossing of the US border by Mexican citizens, but in fact, their work is far different than what you may believe.

The two professors have been designed a dumbed-down GPS and mapping application that could be installed and used on bottom-end phones worth around $30 or $45. They're also being forced to include support for Spanish for obvious reasons, and it seems that their goal here is to help illegal immigrants find shelter, water or a way back once they make it to America.

Many immigrants don't understand just how brutal the terrain becomes once they cross over, and many die each year searching for basic goods like water. This application would theoretically be used to help those in need find such basic rations until they could be sent back to Mexico, but there is already quite a bit of back-and-forth over the legitimacy of such a program.



Some say that having this option across the border will encourage more Mexican citizens to attempt to passage, knowing that if they fail, an application can lead them to safety. Others say that this helps America's humanitarian efforts. It's a double-edged sword no matter how you look at it. If the two professors have their way, the application will be deployed as early as next summer, but it's still unclear exactly how it will be distributed. Even if it does go through, the phones can only last around 2 hours with GPS enabled, so it's obviously only for emergency use. How do you feel about all of this? Keep it decent down there, okay?
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3vi1 replied on Thu, Dec 31 2009 3:42 PM

How about the illegal immigrants just use the cellphone to call a nice border guard for assistance if they're going to die of thirst?

>> This application would theoretically be used to help those in need find such basic rations until they could be sent back to Mexico

They're not going to be sent back to Mexico, if they have an app that allows them to find sustenance without turning themselves in.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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ClemSnide replied on Thu, Dec 31 2009 5:48 PM

What I want is an application for my cell phone that leads me to where I might find sustenance in my house. Sometimes, see, a half-finished box of Little Debby's will slip behind the sofa, and if I forget where it is, I have to go across the street to get another. Or you might use it to find which pizza box still has a slice left when you wake up at 4 PM two days after throwing a party. Or if there are any Oreos in the sofa cushion cracks that aren't too gunked up. You know, useful stuff for the average American.


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3vi1 replied on Thu, Dec 31 2009 5:49 PM

LOL!

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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Applications that save people's lives are welcome as a counterweight to man's all too well-known and well-documented inhumanity to man - homo homini lupus est hasn't changed for the better since Roman times, so why do we blame the wolves ?...

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acarzt replied on Fri, Jan 1 2010 5:04 PM

this is probably just going to give more people the confidence to try to make the trip and end causing more people to die. There's a lot of dangerous stuff out there. Snakes, spiders, wild animals. I have a feeling this app will cause more harm than good.

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ClemSnide replied on Sat, Jan 2 2010 12:54 PM

At the very least, it'll give Glenn Beck one more thing to whinge about. (Or will he like it? Hard to tell with that pigeon; probably both, depending on what pills he's taking.)


"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother was shot... but I cried when HAL was turned off."

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