LOS ANGELES, CA - As tensions are high in immigrant communities due to fear of deportation and family separation, the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and the Korean Resource Center (KRC) are launching a Know Your Rights mobile app for Android, and later iOS, with the help of volunteers from a high tech company. The app was specifically created for community members who are in crisis or have been approached by police or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with border communities and various language speakers in mind.
Volunteers from a high tech company gave their time to design, implement, and translate the Know Your Rights app, which works even without the Internet. There are three sections with the app which include the explanation of a community member’s rights, the phone number for the NAKASEC 24-Hour Immigrant Rapid Response Hotline (English/Korean) as well as the phone number for the United We Dream hotline (English/Spanish), and a page to show police and ICE if community members are approached or questioned by them. The app currently supports five different languages including English, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, and Chinese and the volunteers plan to include more languages in the future.
“After the election, many undocumented immigrants felt they had to go into hiding due to fear of deportation. Although our staff try to distribute Know Your Rights materials in public places and invite community members to come to our office to pick up materials, they are afraid to accept them. This gave me the idea to develop the Know Your Rights app, which allows individuals to download it in the privacy of their own home or where they feel safe. Traveling from California to the Southern Border with the Caravan Against Fear showed me that undocumented immigrants in rural areas have little accessibility to resources and support from organizations, such as KRC. This app is designed with them in mind to give them a way to defend themselves,” said Jung Woo Kim, KRC’s Membership Development Manager who spearheaded the project.
“It did not sound like a complex project. If a group of volunteers could come up with something in a short period of time and it can help immigrants, why not?” said Zu Kim, one of the volunteer Software Engineer. “I sent an email to the co-workers, and received an overwhelming support. Dozens of people volunteered immediately.”
The Know Your Rights app is now available for download for Android on Google Play and will soon be available for iPhone in the App Store. The download instructions are now posted on http://nakasec.org/rights.
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(Below) Jung Woo Kim (KRC Membership Development Manager), Zu Kim (volunteer Software Engineer), and Yongho Kim (KRC Director of Digital)