HOUSTON, Texas— US President Donald Trump’s immigration policy has sparked the creation of a new application to alert people about immigration raids by US authorities.
The new mobile app, called Notifica, will allow undocumented migrants to alert relatives, friends and attorneys if they become victims of immigration raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“There have always been deportations, but after Trump’s executive order signed during his first few days in office, almost all undocumented migrants are targets for the federal government,” Efe news agency quoted app creator Adrian Reyna.
Reyna added that he and others thought it would be a good idea to provide the community with a tool of this kind.
According to Reyna, who is director of digital strategies for the pro-immigrant organisation ‘United We Dream’, the system, which will be available for iOS and Android starting April 10, will allow users to select a series of telephone contacts to be notified immediately if they are detained.
Using Notifica, one can select several contacts at the same time, with different personalised and predetermined messages, thus sending different messages to — for instance — one’s relatives, one’s attorney, the boss or the children’s school principal.
All the messages will be sent simultaneously with the touch of a button and will be erased once they are opened, using a technology similar to that of the well-known app Snapchat.
Reyna stressed on the need of the app among undocumented families to make emergency plans before being deported, especially if there are children involved.
Although the technology will not stop deportations, it will help families who become targets of the authorities to know when to execute their pre-arranged plan for such an eventuality, said Reyna, who is the undocumented Mexican son of parents who also have no papers.
Thus, the issue is a “personal” one for him, having experienced several deportations, whether among his family members or friends, during the time he has lived in California.
The western coastal state, along with Texas, Illinois, Florida and New York City are the places having the most people — so far — who have registered on the app’s Web site to receive notification when it becomes available.
The more than 8,000 people who have registered will be able to download Notifica free of charge in April and begin preparing detailed plans for the situation that could arise if they are detained and deportation proceedings are launched against them.
If a person has time, when confronted by immigration authorities, and can press the proper button for two seconds, the app will send the messages, but in unexpected and abrupt situations they can telephone ‘United We Dream’ from the detention centre and the firm will execute a prepared action plan when the user provides the correct password.