Faculty Design Phone For Illegal Border Crossings

El Paso – Some California artists want immigrants to have more than just a few tuna cans and a water jug for their illegal trek into the U.S.

Faculty at University of California, San Diego are developing a GPS-enabled cell phone that tells dehydrated migrants where to find water. The phone also pipes in poetry from speakers, regaling them on their journey much like Emma Lazarus did a century ago to the "huddled masses yearning to breathe free" on Ellis Island.

Immigration hardliners say the phone designers may aid illegal entry. Even migrants and their sympathizers question whether the device will make their journeys easier.

The designers include three visual artists from UC San Diego and a professor from the University of Michigan. They hope to have the phone ready by midsummer.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.