Posted on June 21, 2013

ACLU Racial Profiling App Allows Users to Report Abuse Under Arizona Immigration Law

Carolina Moreno, Huffington Post, June 19, 2013

Critics of Arizona’s SB 1070 have found a new way of fighting the controversial law–technology.

On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona released a bilingual mobile phone application that not only informs users of their rights when stopped by law enforcement officers, but also allows them to report racial profiling under SB 1070.

Arizona’s SB 1070 originally barred undocumented immigrants from working in the state, allowed for arrests without warrants in some situations and made it a state crime for immigrants to not carry papers. Those three provisions were struck down by the Supreme Court in June 2012, but one other provision stood–section 2B, which requires police officers to check the immigration status of a detained, stopped or arrested person if they reasonably suspect he or she could be an undocumented immigrant.

The ACLU is fighting back with its app, which gives users access to an online form, in English and Spanish, to report abuse under the state law. The app also offers a section with information concerning legal rights when stopped for questioning by a police officer. The ACLU’s new technology will also include videos of individuals who have been victims of racial profiling, and an interactive map tracking other incidents in the area.

The Arizona chapter of the nonprofit organization said the Supreme Court ruling on SB 1070 prompted the creation of the mobile app.

“They struck down as unconstitutional three of the four provisions of the law, and basically when it comes to section 2B the court said ‘look you have to bring us more examples, more evidence of abuses under this provision of the law’,” Alessandra Soler, Executive Director of Arizona’s ACLU division, told The Huffington Post. “That is for us the motivating factor, to document the abuses that we know are going on and then collect enough of them so that we can go back to court and also get that provision struck down.”