This App Promises To Help People Alert Others About Ice Raids

These days, there’s pretty much an app for everything. Dating. Got it. Walking Dogs. Sure thing. ICE raids? Yep, that too. A new app called Notifica is designed to warn people of ICE raids in their area, providing them with crucial time-saving options to protect those they love most. Thanks to Adrian Reyna and Natalia Margolis’ shared desire to protect those vulnerable to President Trump’s policies, the app will be available on April 10th.

Notificia was partially conceived by Adrian Reyna of immigrant’s rights advocacy group United We Dream.

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 11.04.16 AM

Adrian Reyna, the Director of Membership & Technology Strategies at United We Dream, had been kicking around the idea for the app for a while. As Trump gathered momentum during the 2016 campaign, Reyna, a DACA recipient, saw the writing on the wall, Rolling Stone reports. Reyna, who came with his parents from Mexico, understood the uncertainty immigrants face living undocumented in the U.S. He wanted to do something about it.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Reyna explained the panic that the undocumented face when ICE shows up unannounced.

As Reyna told The Rolling Stone:

[ICE] shows up unannounced to neighborhoods, public spaces and work places, most people think, ‘Oh, you can run away,’ but that’s not the case for many [undocumented] immigrants. It paralyzes you. You go into shock. In that moment, you have to think about all of the multiple intricacies: What are they going to do? Who should I call? What should I tell them? Having to sort through all of that in a moment of fear is impossible.

As Fox News reports, Reyna has had several family members deported.

So when Reyna met Natalia Margolis, a software engineer at the San Francisco based HUGE, the two decided to make Notifica a reality.

While Reyna brought understanding of immigration advocacy and the needs of the undocumented community, Margolis had the technical know-how to bring this app to life. According to Rolling Stone, Margolis was able to develop a prototype for the app in just 24 hours. Margolis explained how the app meets the needs of the undocumented in an interview with NPR:

Undocumented immigrants already have networks that they can activate in case of an emergency, and they wanted a way to be able to activate those networks quickly.

He explained why an app would be more effective than texting:

And there’s often not enough time to send out all of those messages at once. So this app lets you have a plan in place and lets you activate those messages immediately with the press of one button.

Notifica offers users several options to protect themselves and their loved ones.

As Fox News reports, Notifica users will have the option to almost instantly send 15 SMS messages pre-selected contacts. The messages will be PIN protected and they will delete from the phone as soon as they are opened. The user can set up custom messages so each recipient gets the most relevant information. As Reyna explained to Rolling Stone, “The app will help individuals think of these things way ahead of time before they happen and reduce the action that someone has to take in a moment to one simple thing.”

Notifica is free to download and will be available on April 10th. Fox News reports that over 8,000 people have already registered to download the app once it goes online.

[h/t] Rolling Stone: Inside the New Emergency App for Undocumented Immigrants

READ: Ireland’s Prime Minister Gave An Emotional Speech About The Power Of Immigration As President Trump Looked On

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This Is Why I Don't See Baseball As A "White Sport" Anymore


This Is Why I Don’t See Baseball As A “White Sport” Anymore

Instagram/@cardinals/Araceli Cruz

I hate to sound like a cliche, but I’ve never really been into sports. Growing up in Los Angeles, my family would watch the Lakers on T.V. or go to an occasional baseball game at Dodger Stadium, but I wasn’t passionate about it unless there was some sort of personal connection I could relate to.

That personal connection came while watching sports with my dad.

That's my dad!
CREDIT: That’s my dad!

My dad will literally watch soccer and boxing all day long. I always enjoyed the social aspect to viewing boxing because we’d always have tons of people come over to our house and chip in for pay-per-view fights. I loved the excitement that the outcome of a fight would bring — especially when we’d do a quiniela and someone would win lots of cash.

Sure, sports are a fun social event, but there was still a disconnect between me and the actual sport.

However, when it comes to family, my parents taught me that we’d always have to support each other and be each other’s biggest cheerleader, whether it is sports, music, or whatever.

That is why I actually believed that Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela was related to me.

I know that sounds ridiculous, but because my dad never really cared for baseball all that much, it was strange to me that he got so excited when Valenzuela was on the field. But in the ’80s, “Fernandomania” spread throughout Los Angeles, especially in the Mexican community, which was proud to see one of its own perform so well on such a big stage. Also, Valenzuela looked like us! So I assumed, as a kid, that we were related. I believe that is where my love-hate relationship with baseball first began.

I rarely saw any Latinos in baseball as a kid, and it was difficult for me to understand the power of the game without feeling that personal connection the sport. I came to see baseball as a “white sport” and really disregarded it.

My heart and mind began to understand baseball on a different level, and that’s mainly because two people: My husband and late Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez.

Aaron Belz/Instagram @miamifitclub
CREDIT: Aaron Belz/Instagram @miamifitclub

My husband, Aaron, adores the St. Louis Cardinals on a level that is insane but also very cute. Yet still, I wasn’t going to allow my husband’s passion for baseball take over my life. I didn’t understand the game and still viewed it as an “American” sport. But he had patience with me. He began to tell me about the countless Latinos who were currently playing in Major League Baseball — more than 25 percent. I was floored.

The other man that changed baseball for me was Jose Fernandez, the Miami Marlins pitcher who tragically died in a boating accident last year. His story about how he and his mother fought to come to America from Cuba despite being rejected numerous times really struck a chord with me.

So many other Latino baseball players have similar stories of perseverance. They worked hard, despite all odds, to make something of themselves. It reminds me of my parents.

Facebook/The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame
CREDIT: Facebook/The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame

Not only are these Latino baseball players incredible athletes, but they have huge hearts and have a drive to give back to their community.

I have so much respect for players such as St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who not only do great charity work but also are passionate about their culture.

I had a blast watching the 2017 World Baseball Classic because so many players represented the country where they come from. It was so moving to see them play with such passion because they wanted to make their people proud.

But now that the MLB has begun, I am so excited to be truly engaged in the game for the first time ever.

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Tonight's 🔋

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Now when I watch the Cardinals play, you bet your ass I am cheering on Molina and third basemen Jhonny Peralta, and pitcher Carlos Martinez, but also infielder Matt Carpenter and pitcher Seung-hwan Oh.

I’ve come to learn about all of their stories and now understand that baseball is not just an “American thing.” And it’s not just a Latino thing. It’s a team thing. It’s about sportsmanship and the history of the game, which includes players from all over the world. It’s not a “white sport” like I believed. It’s truly a sport that unites us all.

READ: This Has To Be The Most Nonchalant Bat Catch In Baseball History

Who’s your favorite baseball team? Let us know by sharing this story and commenting in the section below. 

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